February 7, 2012
Ronnie and Debbie have been Finding Sanctuary Since February 7, 2006, when they arrived at The Elephant Sanctuary from the Hawthorn Corporation, the fifth and sixth of eight circus elephants on the “Caravan to Freedom” rescue. The Sanctuary was fully aware of the challenges we faced in years to come; all of the Hawthorn Girls had been exposed to tuberculosis, and we were faced with the realization that all of them might at one point be struggling with the disease. When we rescued the Hawthorn elephants, The Sanctuary affirmed our unwavering commitment to provide them with excellent medical treatment and care, and a pastoral environment with forests, meadows, and shady paths in which to heal.
As you know, when she first arrived at The Sanctuary, Misty developed the disease and was treated, and our dear Lizzie is still being treated today. Recently developed blood tests have given us better information on which elephants are at highest risk for developing active TB. Our Veterinary Care plan is to treat all of the Q Girls based on their blood test results and their history of exposure at Hawthorn.
Ronnie and Debbie have become very accomplished with their Protected Contact training, and are the next two of the Q Girls scheduled to be treated. Because Ronnie and Debbie’s regular trunk washes performed through PC recently resulted in a positive test result, that information can now be used in order to determine the most effective treatment plan for them.
Thankfully, neither of the Girls is sick, and we want to keep it that way. In readiness for this day, we have been training all of our Q girls in Protected Contact. Caregivers are already training Ronnie and Debbie to swallow pills, and we will now be able to move forward with the scheduled treatment, armed with valuable knowledge with which to help Debbie and Ronnie, so that they can spend many more years relishing in their freedom, swimming in their ponds, and spending their lives together in peaceful Sanctuary.