May 2, 2011
Last week the Girls at the New Asian Barn had their regular vet visit. Our vets come to the sanctuary weekly to visit the elephants, rotating their visits by habitat. As it was a rainy and sunless day, Misty, Dulary, Sissy, and Winkie had returned to the barn by the time the vets arrived. Winkie readily presented her feet for examination, but Misty, as always, was a little slower. To make the examinations safer and easier, Dulary and Misty were temporarily separated, and during Misty's turn, Dulary decided to leave the barn. But she returned a short time later and opened her mouth so the vets could check her color, then presented her ear for inspection. Once all the elephants in the barn were checked out, it was time to travel by four-wheeler out to Shirley and Tarra, who were still at the lake.
Caregivers and vets drove to the camera tower in Left Field, and Tarra came right over to the fence, allowing her tail to be inspected for ingrown hairs. This is a condition that Tarra has had before, but on this occasion, all was well with her examination. Although Tarra is both the youngest and the most active of all our Asian elephants, her above-average weight continues to be a long-term health concern. Under the watchful eye of both her vet and her Caregivers, she is making slow but steady progress shedding those extra pounds.
Surprisingly, Shirley readily made the long trek across the field for her vet examination. We all hope this indicates that her anti-inflammatories are helping her feel better. We are pleased to report that both Girls appear to be doing well.
At Q-Barn this past week, Minnie once again spent some time interacting with Debbie and Ronnie in a shared pasture. Their Caregivers continue to introduce them slowly like this so that Minnie will learn not to be too aggressive. Tuesday was a splendid day for the three of them, Minnie mingling with Debbie and Ronnie for a while, then all of them stopping to graze. Minnie pushed a little at times, but never aggressively. It was nice to see the three of them standing together again with their trunks touching one another without a fence between them. We were pleased with their progress and their continued comfort in each others' company.