Tina's rotten toenail finally fell off. Yes, this is a good thing. If
you watch the EleCam you will notice that Tina is walking more comfortably
and not fussing with her foot. She is on the road to recovery.
Tina met the rest of her elephant family. Jenny and she spent quite a
bit of time interacting through the stall in the barn. Jenny was
patient and Tina was a little aggressive. She lunged at Jenny and charged
the bars. At one point she tried to hit Jenny with her trunk. Jenny withdrew
her face which was protruding through the bars but not fast enough to
escape Tina's charge. Jenny has a very healthy set of tusks
which she raised to defend herself from Tina's blow. Tina miscalculated
her hit, resulting in her scraping her trunk on Jenny's tusk. During
Tina's display Jenny did her best to ignore the aggression but
was very persistent, trying to get Tina to be friends. Tina continued
to came closer and closer while Jenny took a submissive posture to make
Tina more comfortable. Although Tina did get a minor, somewhat self-inflicted scrape
on her trunk, it was actually a very good way to discourage Tina's fear
based aggressive behavior. When Jenny finally left the barn Tina followed
to the end of the stall and stood looking in her director for
nearly an hour while eating her hay. It was amazing to see that Tina did
not bob at all. She displayed no stress and as a matter of fact appeared
quite content. Tina displayed this same type of fear based aggressive
behavior toward Tarra and Sissy when they met. We are sure that she will
work through her fear and become friends with Jenny just as she has with
Tarra and Sissy...one elephant at a time.
say, "Hey, Tina!"
just want to be friends...."
come over, but... uh.... this bar..."
at least I got a foot in the door.
And that's a good start."
dusk Jenny and Shirley approached the barn and Tina. They never came close
enough to touch but Tina was aware of their presence. When Tina began
to show that she was concerned and uncomfortable we opened the gate for
her to come inside the barn. Jenny and Shirley watched as Tina walked
away. Now that Jenny and Shirley have shown interest we know there will
be a lot of interaction to come.
Jen and Shirley are interested in Tina
breakthrough for Tina. Although she has no difficulty leaving the
barn through the alleyway, she has refused to take more than a few steps
up the alley when returning to the barn. She always uses a different access
when coming back inside the barn. Many elephants have a preference regarding
what door they leave the barn through and which they return through. Today
Tina decided she had no concern walking straight up the alley back to
the barn. She grazed as she went acting as if she had done it a million
times. Good for Tina!
is really relaxing into her environment. She has started to explore and
use more of her barn space. Her feet continue to heal and her spirits
are high. We continue to provide a number of homeopathic and flower essence
remedies for her recovering physical and emotional body. Currently she
is on an oral sulfur remedy for her feet which has an over-all healing
effect on her body. Her daily foot soaks include a combination of seeped
calendula pedals, hypericum and arnica montana. This combination has a
soothing as well as healing effect on Tina's sore feet. Tonight after
her foot soaks Tina spent nearly an hour eating her Tennessee river cane
(bamboo) which she has quite a fondness for.
afternoon Tina decided she was comfortable doing her foot soaks outside.
She placed both front feet into the tubs and soaked for nearly 20 minutes.
The entire time she was doted on by her personal assistant, Joanna. You
could almost hear Tina saying, "More treats, please!"
In the series
of photos captured on the EleCam
you can see several of Tina's
including Tarra, attending to her foot soak needs .
Tonight at the 10pm feed, Tina was not in her usual place the barn.
Instead, she was found outside in the alley leading to the habitat. Backlit
by the security light she appeared to be wearing a halo as she grazed,
leisurely, without a care in the world. When she heard her keeper inside
the barn she turned, ever so slowly and returned to the barn. She has
been exploring her boundaries more and more each day.
is settling into her routine quite comfortably; foot trims in the morning
and then outside all day until dark. The weather has been glorious
in fact today it sprinkled lightly all afternoon. Tina seemed to enjoy
it. She spent most of her time grazing on the edge of the woods. Tarra
spent the entire day with Tina, most of the time antagonizing her to play.
Tarra was in a very playful mood, cool weather and rain brings out the
playful nature in elephants. Tarra tried desperately to engage Tina in
Ele-Play but Tina was satisfied to stand back and watch Tarra being quite
silly. The barrels, both the suspended one and Tina's toy on the ground,
entertained Tarra for hours. When Tarra was through, Tina's blue barrel
was flat as a pancake.
stills document this playful activity.
an hour of foot trimming, Tina went outside. Today her
favorite blue barrel was filled with treats and set in the yard for
her. She quickly sucked all of the produce out of the barrel and went off in search of vegetation. She ate a variety of grasses and leaves and then began dusting herself. The weather has cooled down and the bugs are not as numerous. The only be-gone gesture she does now is at Virgil, a big black lab, that has no fear whatsoever of Tina.
was not interested in going outside this morning, but as there was nothing
that interested her inside the barn, she began to bob. She soon was
deep in a catatonic state induced by her neurotic behavior. Since
this zoned out state is not healthy, her care givers made the effort to distract
her. Foot trimming did the trick. In order to trim her feet Tina
must be "present" and participate. She voluntarily presented
her feet and allowed more excess nail and pad to be trimmed. Today
we took off a lot of the protruding nails on the inside of her front feet.
These nails were so long that her feet hit when one foot passed the other
while walking. The nails are finally beginning to look more natural and
judging from Tina's activity level, she must be feeling better.
After the distraction of her foot trim Tina perked up and was willing
to go outside. She wandered over to the dirt pit and covered all of us,
head to toe, down our shirts and in our shoes, with dirt...gee thanks,
Tina! She found some tender grass to munch and roamed around in the woods
a little. The added plus of her being outside is that she engages
in activity that does not include head bobbing.
Another good day for Tina.
is doing so well we can hardly keep up with her. This morning she went
outside where she remained all day. The first thing she did was graze
on the China grass which grows in the shade of the trees. She could not
pick it fast enough. Tarra was with her and remained with her all day.
Once her appetite was temporarily satisfied to set about covering her
body with dirt and sand ...again, an endless task. EleCam viewers were
fortunate to see Tina on the web cam ALL day. Everyone here at the Sanctuary
was over joyed that Tina kept herself entertained and never once fell
into her bobbing stupor. She investigated trees and the suspended barrel
toy and displayed no bug-be-gone behavior at all.
4pm was foot soak time. Tina was so content outside that we brought the
foot soaks to her. She did great, no problem, just stood in her foot soak
accepting the treats and attention. After a drink of water from the hose
and her dinner served outside, she finally decided it was time to go in.
What a day...a great day!
the past few days, during the time that Tina has gone outside, we have
made an interesting observation. Tina bobs when her caretakers approach,
interact or feed her. Once the caregivers leave her neurotic head
was an exclusive TINA EleCam day!
Tina went outside at 9AM CT, immediately following her breakfast and bath. As
soon as she was in the yard she began to dust herself with sand and dirt.
Thankfully, this behavior has almost completely replaced her
neurotic head bobbing while she is outside. Tina was observed
eating wild vegetation and exploring the trees as well as the suspended
toy. She did not really play with the toy but rubbed on it and
let it slide across her body as she walked past. For hours she engaged
in excavation activities using her feet to dig up dirt and sand. This
behavior is very beneficial to the health of her feet. It increases blood circulation
and naturally wears down her pads and nails. The fact that she used
her feet so much today indicates she is feeling much better. At 4:45PM
CT, when it was time for her foot soaks, Tina was still outside, calm
and content. She came back inside the barn and although the gates were
wide open for her to pass from stall to stall she stood in front of a
closed gate, the one that leads to the scale. She stood and waited
until the gate was opened and she was allowed to walk across the scale.
Perhaps she wanted us to know that she has shed 100 pounds. Bravo for
confidently leaves the barn for another day outside
in the sandpile and having fun
a good day!
see a sequence of pictures of Tina from the Ele-cam (these are stills)
you can download the zipped file by clicking here.
another first for Tina. When staff came in for the 10PM feeding, Tina
was not in the barn. The lights were out but the security light around
the back of the barn illuminated Tina standing outside her barn door reaching
over the retaining wall. When she heard and saw her caregiver she paid
little attention. She had fresh mud all over her legs and face where she had
painted herself, or so that is what it looked like. She had uprooted some edible
vegetation which she munched. When the inside barn lights came on Tina
nonchalantly strolled back inside the barn ready for her evening meal.
Her increasing comfort with her new home is obvious.
did more trimming on Tina's feet today. The outside nail on her left front
foot is hanging by a thread of flesh. It is difficult to look at but we
know that once she sheds this nail she is truly on the road to recovery.
She continues to be more and more comfortable each time we trim. Today
we were able to remove more of the excess pad from the inside of
her foot which is imperative because once the outside nail sloughs off
she will have no foundation on the outside of that foot. She
must stand level on her foot in order not to cause injury to another nail.
The infected area on the bottom of her foot is nearly all trimmed away.
Today Tina presented her foot numerous times without prompting and held
it there for an extended period of time. We do not dominate Tina
or force her to present her feet, so we are quite proud of her
cooperation and trust.
appears that Tina is going to make a habit of going outside. As the weather
cools down the bugs will become less irritating and then disappear all
together, giving Tina no reason to not hang around outside. She
left the barn at 8:30am CT, walked right down the alley to the shaded
area behind the barn. All who watched on the EleCam saw her continually
shower herself with dirt and sand. This behavior protects her sensitive
skin and also appears to be a bit of a nervous habit. The good thing is
that this behavior is not detrimental to her health. Tarra stayed with
Tina until early afternoon when she seemed to grow impatient that Tina
did not want to wander away from the barn. Tarra tried to encourage Tina
to walk by crowding her and then actually used her head to gently push
Tina in the direction of the pasture. Tina was determined to not be
"pushed around". She held her ground and waited for Tarra to
pass. She threw a few more trunk fulls of sand and then walked back
up by the barn. At around 3pm Tina returned to the barn. Another good
regularly goes outside
the shady wooded area behind the barn.
know Tina is to know that everything she does is well thought out and
painstakingly slow. Be it her constitution, the circumstances of her life
until now, or simply her sore feet, Tina does everything slowly.
This is why we are not surprised that Tina has spent the past two days
inside the barn...again. Following her great adventure she has been quite
calm, full of peace.
We have noticed an interesting shift with Sissy and Winkie. Their
routine is to come back to the barn at dusk, but the past few nights they have
gone back outside after dark to play in the wooded area behind the barn.
This is a new behavior for these two indicating that they are comfortable
outside after dark. As Tina makes progress and adapts to her new life,
the other elephants continue their recovery as well. Watching each elephant
continue to grow more comfortable with this life of so many choices, so
much freedom, we see how far each has come. Last night as we listened
to Winkie chirping in the woods and Sissy trumpeting as she threw sand about
wildly, Tina listened. Tonight Tina could be heard joining in on the fun.
She did not join in physically but each time Sissy or Winkie let out a
playful vocalization Tina added her voice to the merriment.
The music they made was exhilarating.
the one month anniversary of her departure from the Greater Vancouver
Zoo, Tina caused a roar that could be heard across North America...she
went outside to explore the habitat, and her fans could not contain their
What a day. Tina left the barn at 10:30 AM CT and entered the world of
trees, vegetation and natural substraight. She wasted no time exploring
the trees and fine Tennessee soil. Using her sore feet like shovels she
piled up mounds of dirt and then flung it onto her back. No bugs were
going to drive her inside on this day. In the shade of the forest canopy
she immersed herself in nature, slowly moving, inch by inch, to explore
her new home. Her adventure lasted until 2:30PM. A huge adventure for
one day, Tina returned to the barn for a shower and groceries. One thing
was very obvious when she returned Tina did not engage in her normal
head bobbing behavior. Instead, she stood calmly and savored her hay and
tree branches. She appeared to be miles away, almost in a dream. This
was a powerfully good day for Tina and all who love her. YEAH for Tina!
explores the woods for the first time
using it to scratch an itchy trunk!
and Tarra back at the barn
would like to share an e-mail she received today from some of Tina's fans:
gang here on Ashwood Avenue in Nashville is very proud of Tina, and we
are very proud of you. We range in age from four to sixty-seven. Some
of us who are younger feel that Tina's eating habits would get us sent
from the table. Others of us say "food fight". Others of us
have our bags packed for the day you start accepting American middle aged
Sofie, Madeline, Joelle, Bruce, Mac, Patsy, Gail, Granny, Katherine, Brian,
Erin, Megan, Emma, Will and Lynn.
September 7, 2003
as we trimmed more of Tina's overgrown pad, we exposed two large
rotten areas of dead and dying flesh on the bottom of her left front
foot. We are thankful to Tina's keepers at the Greater Vancouver
Zoo for soaking her feet on a regular basis. Foot soaks are
what prevented the wounds from becoming infected.
Although Tina's toes cause her a great deal of pain, we believe these
rotten areas, located in the center of her foot, make it difficult
for her to walk without experiencing additional pain. The rotten areas
have been opened up and cleaned out, making it easier for oxygen to
get to the wound and help it to heal.
5, 3:30PM CT
went outside again today. This time she led and Tarra followed. She spent
time in the shade and then stood next to the gate. The bugs did not really
agitate her as they have in the past. Tarra was quite silly and kept
trying to get Tina to play. She would chatter and back up to
her, playfully swishing her tail around Tina's face. Tina was not interested
in playing with Tarra but did enjoy using her as a scratching post. She
spent several minutes giving herself a shower and then returned
to the barn with Tarra right behind.
This time Tina led the way outside
where they spent several minutes in a shady spot
... and then back to the barn again.
inside the barn we spent time trimming her feet again. She was even calmer
today then yesterday. We were able to trim most of the excess pad from
her left front foot as well as excess pad from her right back foot.
foot gets trimmed
we trimmed Tina's feet for the first time. She was awesome!
Her daily foot soaks have successfully arrested the infection in
her feet and her homeopathy treatments have promoted healing. Now our
job is to trim away the excess pad so that Tina is standing level on her
feet. She had five inches of overgrown pad on the inside of both front
feet. This has caused her to stand as if she has a wedge under her feet.
As result, all of her weight, all 9500 pounds, is on her outside toenails.
This is one reason why Tina has had such severe foot and nail problems.
All that weight on one spot caused bruising which became chronic and infected.
At first when we started trimming Tina was nervous, but after a few minutes
when she realized we were not going to hurt her she relaxed and became
very cooperative. The treats helped as well!
In this first session we were able to trim nearly half of the excess growth
from her right front foot. Even though her outside toes are still extremely
sore she was cooperative and patient.
Tina is on her way to healthy feet.
everything ready for Tina's foot trim
a Good Girl!
3 , 2003
is fine, not to worry. A wise person once said, "No news is
good news." There have been no entries because there is nothing new
to tell. Tina continues to make her way through the barn each morning
like a champ. Without hesitation she leaves the barn. Like clockwork some
flying insect buzzes around her head, she does her bug-be-gone dance and
then after a few minutes returns to the barn.
She continues to display her head bobbing, neurotic behavior at times
which is to be expected. This habit has been a part of her life for so
long it is second nature. She does not think, "Oh I am bored, I will
bob." It just is part of her now. Our job is to help her recover,
layer by layer. We do this by changing her diet, her management, providing
dietary supplements and homeopathy to help her move through her processing.
It takes time so please be patient with her. Along with your love and
concern, Tina deserves your compassion and patience.