KARACHI - For the last two years, the Elephant House at Karachi Zoo has been lying deserted. In July 2006, the only female elephant, Anarkali, died at the age of 65. Since then the authorities concerned cannot bring any elephant neither for the zoo nor the Safari Park. The EDO Community Development Department (CDD) Rehana Saif told The Nation on Sunday that elephant would be brought to Karachi Zoo by January 2009. She pointed out that these days the purchase of animals from the international market has become very difficult due to tough restrictions and procedures. It may be noted here that the zoo and Safari Park have been facing shortage of important animals like rhinoceros, hippopotamus, zebras, giraffe and many other animals. The CDGK wanted to buy these animals, but the City government has delayed it due to the prevailing financial constraints, sources in the finance department confirmed. Another official of the CDD, who is also a member of Animal Purchase Advisory Committee, said: "The supplier has told us that he will be despatched two elephants in January 2009." It is worth mentioning here that currently there are only three elephants in Pakistan, two in Islamabad Zoo and one in Lahore Zoo. It may be noted that Asian elephants are easy to handle as compared to the African elephants due to their aggressive behaviour. But owing to the international restrictions, it has become immensely difficult to get Asian elephants for the Zoos these days. "Elephants in South Asia are found in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and some other far Eastern states, but buying elephants from these countries is almost impossible. On the other hand, it is easy to buy elephants from African countries," source said. When asked about the purchase of several other important animals for the zoo including hippopotamus, rhinoceros, zebra, deer, lions and tigers, he admitted that they were important for the local zoo, but said that the financial crunch was a major hurdle in their purchase.