The Supreme Court denied a petition seeking permission to import African elephants for a zoological garden in Peshawar on Monday.
Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Raja Shafqat Abbasi made a brief remark during the hearing, citing a July 2020 meeting of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Management Authority. The conference determined that the Peshawar Zoo doesn’t have a suitable environment for the survival of wild African elephants.
The Peshawar High Court first rejected the case in September 2020. The Supreme Court heard an appeal from an organization that contested the ruling. The petitioner, represented by Advocate Niaz Wali Khan, claimed that they had previously acquired two elephants from Zimbabwe and were responsible for their feeding and maintenance. Despite this, permission to import elephants was denied.
The DAG noted how the PHC earlier asked the Ministry of Climate Change to summon a meeting of the CITES Management Authority of Pakistan following the first round of proceedings under Section 15 of the Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Act 2012.
The meeting’s goal was to determine if the Peshawar Zoo was adequately equipped to accommodate and care for elephants. In accordance with the mandate, in July 2020, a meeting was convened at which it was determined that the zoo could not provide the appropriate habitat.
As per the present petition, however, representatives from the Zimbabwe Part Wildlife Department visited the Peshawar Zoo, extensively evaluated the location, and determined that it was suitable and favorable for elephants.