The Legend of 'Pak Bahadır', One of İzmir's Icons, Will Be Alive in the Museum

The Legend of Pak Bahadır will be kept alive in the Museum
The Legend of Pak Bahadır will be kept alive in the Museum

Asian elephant Pak Bahadır, who died in 2007 after being alone for many years in the closed zoo in Kültürpark, will no longer live only in memories. Pak Bahadır's skeleton will be exhibited in the museum 16 years after his death. Pak Bahadır's bones are being excavated from the place where he was buried, with the work carried out meticulously by scientists. The skeleton that emerged after the pieces were assembled will be opened to visitors at the Animal Skeletons Museum in the Wildlife Park.

Pak Bahadır, the elephant who was brought to Kültürpark Zoo from Pakistan in 1964 and was among the symbols of İzmir for a while, died on July 21, 2007, unable to wake up after the operation carried out by experts and zoo officials from abroad due to a disease in his joints and bones. The death of Pak Bahadır, who died at the age of 45, shocked the whole of Izmir. Izmir's legendary elephant Pak Bahadır will be resurrected 16 years after his death and will be exhibited at the Animal Skeletons Museum in the Natural Life Park. Istanbul University Cerrahpaşa Osteoarchaeology Center Director Prof. Dr. Under the supervision of Vedat Onar, this study will examine Pak Bahadır's bones and obtain data on the family tree and cause of death.

“It should not be seen as just a skeleton”

Istanbul University Cerrahpaşa Osteoarchaeology Center Director Prof. Dr. Vedat Onar said that it is extremely important to remove and display the skeleton of the elephant, which is among the symbols of İzmir. Stating that the bones will be examined archaeologically, Vedat Onar said, “There are nearly 250 bones. As a result of the examination, we would like to document the death condition and lesions of that day and complete the insufficient documentation. We want to bring Pak Bahadır back into people's lives. This situation should not be seen only as a skeleton or bone. After the result of the examination, skeletonization and assembly will be done.”

She fed him apples as a child.

Onar said that they will make people see Pak Bahadır, whom he fed with apples as a child, by presenting them as a skeleton and said, “I am very happy to take part in such a study. I'm a bone specialist, but we also have a human side. It makes me happy to raise the elephant that I gave an apple to years ago and to reflect this to people. We are living those days again. We bring Bahadır, who has become a legend and integrated with İzmir, today. We are bringing the elephant, which has added color to the life of a generation, back to life. Great work. When he becomes a skeleton, we will return to the days we saw him. "Today it can be seen as a skeleton, but it will come to life again in the eyes of people who lived that day," he said.

Pak Bahadir

To be studied scientifically

Touching on the scientific dimension of the study, Istanbul University Cerrahpaşa Osteoarchaeology Center Director Prof. Dr. Vedat Onar said, “There is a family tree in the records. Will we really be able to determine his family tree? We want to determine how far we can take his past. Another important aspect is the care conditions of that day, the disease symptoms of that day. Did this animal really have a prostate disease? Or was his illness due to his advanced bone problems? We want to be able to determine these with today's methods and methods," he said.

This kind of work is done all over the world.

Pointing out that there may be criticisms about opening the tomb and removing its bones, Onar said that such a study is carried out all over the world and said: “All around the world, all the legendary animals with monumental value are presented to the visualization of people. They are made into skeletons and displayed in museums. This is what we do too. In addition, the bones will be subjected to scientific scrutiny beyond display. We will reach healthy data on many subjects from the pedigree to its connection in the lineage distribution, to the breeding conditions.”

He also took part in the burial of Pak Bahadır.

Veterinary Health Technician Murat Şimşek, who is involved in the project; Stating that Pak Bahadır will also take place in the Animal Skeletons Museum, where the skeletons of many creatures such as hippopotamus, giraffe and crocodile are found, he said, “We are working as a team to have the elephant, the symbol of İzmir and one of the largest land mammals in the world, join our exhibition hall.”

Operator Zafer İşlek also said that he was part of the team that buried Pak Bahadır when he passed away, and now he is re-employed to remove his bones. Pak Bahadır was the symbol of the zoo. When we were children, we used to go to the zoo to see Bahadır. I was very sad when he died. He was our value,” he said.

Measurements of bones were made

Veterinary Health Technician İlker Ertop explained that the study is the first study of this concept in Turkey to date and said, “It is a valuable study for our students. We think that this work is a value that will refresh the memories of citizens and especially those who see it live.”

Wildlife Technician Özgün Paftalı stated that they carried out a planned, conscious and meticulous study and said, “Bones were measured one by one. Their weights were calculated. Labeled and inventory records kept. "The bones turned out to be cleaner than we expected," he said. Veterinary Technician Çağlayan Acunsal Kırcal said, “We are planning to complete the project, which we have realized for the first time in Turkey, at the end of the summer. This is the first time such a study has been conducted. It is a pleasure to take part in this work. It has been an experience for us as well,” he said.

It will be exhibited in the museum

Pak Bahadır's bones will be assembled one by one after the examination. The combined bones will be turned into skeletons and exhibited at the Animal Skeletons Museum in Sasalı Wildlife Park. Thus, the first museum of the giraffe, hippopotamus, the world's largest land mammal, the elephant, and the crocodile, all in the same concept, will be in İzmir. Pak Bahadır was brought to İzmir from Pakistan when he was 1964 years old by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality in 6. He died at the age of 45 due to a disease in his joints and bones and was buried in the Sasalı Wildlife Park.

📩 06/06/2023 14:56