Animal Nepal has launched a campaign to retire zoo elephant Pawankali. The loyal working elephant is now 65 and her eye sight is decreasing. Mr. Juddha Bahadur Gurung, Member Secretary of Nepal Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), promised to retire Pawankali.
Representatives from Animal Nepal handed over a letter to NTNC and the zoo earlier this month.
While in India working elephants retire at the age of 58, Nepal yet has to introduce welfare rules for jumbos. This despite the fact that over 200 working elephants are used to conduct safaris and anti poaching activities,
Pawankali started her life in Chitwan, where she worked with NTNC. At the age of 30 she arrived in the Central Zoo, where she is used for safaris and put on hire for functions. Pawankali served the zoo for 33 years. Although elephants are social animals, she lives alone and is chained when not working. Apart from a tin roof, she has no shelter.
In the letter, Animal Nepal writes: “Pawankali deserves to be retired, and to be allowed to live the remains of her days in comfort.” Animal Nepal urges the government to issue welfare standards and to open a retirement home for aging working animals.
Mr Gurung said his organisation is looking to retire Pawankali. Animal Nepal appreciates the decision by NTNC but strongly disagrees with replacing Pawankali with a younger elephant. “We urge you to follow the example of India and various other countries, and end the presence of elephants in the Central Zoo,” urges Animal Nepal.
The letter can be read here.
Sign this petition to end the presence of elephants in the Central Zoo.
Animal Nepal’s elephant campaign site can be viewed here.