Lahore’s Safari Park will have two elephants which are likely to arrive from Sri Lanka by June 2018. The Sri Lankan ambassador, in an official letter, has also recommended that the elephants be gifted to Pakistan. It is strange that the ambassador has made this recommendation as the plight of Sri Lankan elephants in the Pakistani zoos including the lone elephant Kavaan in the Islamabad zoo is pathetic.
Punjab Wildlife and Parks Director General Khalid Ayaz said that his department has been trying to import elephants from Sri Lanka for a long time. Finally, its relentless efforts have been successful.
Previously, around two years ago, the Sri Lankan government had proposed presenting elephants as a gift to Pakistan. However, the matter was left suspended after the elephant at Lahore Zoo died.
Earlier, the Punjab Wildlife Department was unable to secure a permit from CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which caused a delay in importing animals for Lahore Zoo.
The department had allocated Rs 13 million for importing several animals, including an elephant, a giraffe, sea horses, a Bengal tiger and a rhinoceros, to restore the zoo to its former glory. Two separate firms were tasked with the responsibility but neither were able to obtain the permit.