Saturday was a sad day for children and animal lovers as Zoo’s only elephant, Suzi, 31-year-old died due to severe pain in feet and non availability of medical assistance.

The African bush elephant was brought from Belgium in 1988 to the Lahore Zoo. It was sheer negligence that the elephant died. Elephants’ normal life span is between 60 and 85 years old. Unfortunately Suzi could not survive as she was not being treated well. The children rides on elephant were last taken in 2011. The rides were stopped as she was not well. Even this did not jolt the zoo administration. She continued to live perhaps in pain.

Education Officer, Lahore Zoo, Kiran said three days ago Suzi had severe pain in her feet. “Team of doctors from University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences led by Dr Asim Khalid gave pain killers to elephant.

“Lahore Zoo shared blood tests and other medical reports with Thailand Elephant Society and with experts at University of Glasgow,” she said.

The teeth of elephant will be put on display at Lahore Museum while the skeleton will be given to UVAS and body will be buried, Zoo officials said.

After her death Wildlife and Parks Department Punjab suspended Lahore Zoo Director Shafqat Ali for 90 days on account of inefficiency regarding not taking proper steps for the treatment of elephant.

Hassan Ali, Deputy Director Wildlife, Lahore Division has been given additional charge of Director Lahore Zoo.

Sunita Shams, an animal rights activist told The Nation that she was in complete shock. “The government should not buy animals from other parts of world if they cannot take their proper care."

The elephant used to eat green fodder, seasonal food, bread and sugar cane.

Last year, an elephant suffering from depression in Islamabad Zoo came into limelight and gained world media attention due to voice raised by animal rights activists around the world.

Tehreem Azmat shared her feeling and memories with Suzi elephant n her words “I used to visit the zoo and I have given her a few notes in my childhood. But now that I am older I have decided to never visit the zoo or take any kid there as it is equivalent to paying for and supporting animal abuse. An elephant is a herd animal with complex emotions and an actual family structure. Its life cycle normally contains migrations, too. Keeping it in such a small area alone is not at all humane. Same is for lions, giraffes, or any other animal,” she said.

Shafqat Ali told media that Suzi would be buried at the Lahore Zoo for three to five months so that her body could be decomposed. After that period, it would be exhumed to extract its bones, added the director.

A Lahore based animal rights society Todd's Welfare Society in a statement release said “The death of Suzi should make us all look deep down and look at the monsters we have become cruel, selfish, self-centered and compassionless. Not only do we kill and torture own kind, but we torture and enslave all other species as well.”