Tour the Elephant Health Care Center

The Elephant Health Care Center is open! Our Veterinary Team has moved and is now working out of this state-of-the-art lab space that is positioned among the three distinct habitats (Africa, Asia, and Q) on Sanctuary grounds. In addition to the opportunities for close observation of elephants afforded by the new two-stall elephant barn and the 3.6-acre fenced habitat, the Elephant Health Care Center provides a central location to house The Sanctuary’s advanced veterinary diagnostics and treatment capabilities.

We invite you to join us on a photo tour of the Health Care Center, highlighting the knowledge-gathering that happens here and the incredible equipment in use.

The Vet Team, including Dr. Steven Scott, Dr. Lydia Young, and Veterinary Services Manager Eileen Keating, now has a working office with individual desks and shelving to host reference materials, such as published journals on elephant science and many years of health care records on each of The Sanctuary’s elephants (such record-keeping is now digitized).

In a lab demonstration, Eileen shows members of The Sanctuary’s Care Staff how to mount and analyze a sample that assesses glucose levels in the elephants. In addition to room for demonstrations like these, the Health Care Center includes a meeting area for hosting elephant care professionals from around the world, in the pursuit of sharing knowledge and providing the best care for aging elephants in captivity.

The Veterinary Lab includes ample working space for in-house diagnostics, such as viewing samples under a digital microscope.

Dr. Young uses a pill counter to portion out elephant medications. Some of our residents are on multiple supplements for issues common to elephants who have aged in captivity — issues similar to aging humans, such as joint pain, inflammation, digestion, and allergies.

Dr. Scott looks through the deep freezer, safe for storage of in-house samples. The Elephant Sanctuary is possibly one of the only institutions in Tennessee that owns and uses a sub-80-degree freezer.

Dr. Scott and Dr. Young analyze x-rays, ultrasounds, and thermal imaging of elephant residents to monitor their arthritic joints and their large temporal glands.

The Elephant Health Care Center also features a two-stall elephant barn and a 3.6-acre habitat, secured with reinforced steel fencing that is 9 feet tall and with wider beams, to accommodate any future elephant in need.

Thanks to the support of more than 1,800 donors, Eileen, Dr. Lydia Young, and Dr. Steven Scott will work collaboratively at the Elephant Health Care Center to meet the complex needs of each of The Sanctuary’s nine elephant residents. We look forward to sharing more of their continued successes!

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