Friday, 30 September, 2022
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Karachi’s Safari Park finally knows the sex of its elephant. It’s Sonia, not Sonu

The startling revelation of the elephant's sex left Pakistani Twitter amused, wondering why zookeepers couldn't spot something this 'hard to miss'.

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New Delhi: It took Karachi’s Safari Park 12 years to know the difference between a male and a female elephant team and rename ‘Sonu’ as ‘Sonia’.

A ‘male’ elephant in Karachi’s Safari Park was found to be ‘female’ after 12 years. A team of six veterinary experts informed the Sindh High Court that Sonu, at Safari park, who was earlier identified as a male, has, in fact, turned out to be female after an ultrasonography revealed uterus and ovaries, The Dawn reported.

In their interim report, German veterinarian Dr Frank Goritz and his team, who were appointed by the Sindh HC for a check-up of four elephants in the Safari Park and Karachi Zoo, said that an oversized clitoris was palpated inside the vestibulum and that it was exposed often as reported by the zoo staff. The two elephants kept in the Safari Park — Sonu and Malaka — were brought from Tanzania in 2009.

Gulf News reported that elephant ‘Sonu’ had now become ‘Sonia’.

Also Read: Elephant or wild pig, none should die in blast. Cuteness quotient must not guide conservation

‘Hard to miss’

Several Twitter users also found the startling revelation amusing, saying that ‘these things happened all the time’.

User Jawad wrote: “This female elephant was declared male by Pakistan government right around the time they were staunchly denying harboring Taliban. P.S. It’s one thing to confuse the sex of a frog, entirely another level of cosiness with truth needed to unsee a freaking elephant’s private parts”.

Another user, Farooq said: “‘Male elephant’ at Karachi’s Safari Park turns out to be female after 12 years, SHC told. Wow! Zoo experts couldn’t differentiate between Male and female elephants for 12 years? Hard to miss an Elephant male!”.

Also Read: To protect India’s elephants, we have to preserve wildlife corridors not just forests

Health of the elephants

The Karachi Metropolitan had earlier claimed that the elephants had no health issues after an NGO had petitioned the Sindh High Court to shift the elephants to another habitat.

The team of experts informed the court that while their condition was good, they needed urgent intervention to amend dietary and dental issues. The elephants in Karachi Zoo suffered from food issues and the two in the Safari Park, including the male elephant now found to be female, had dental problems.

The expert team from Four Paws, an international animal rights group, was called to verify the claims of the elephants’ well-being after the reported death of a white lion due to negligence in Karachi Zoo last week. The four elephants are the last of their kind from Africa in Pakistan.

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