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MARCH 11, 2008

Spring is a magical time of year for elephants, with lush green grass for grazing on cool, sunny days; but elephants, Sprinespecially those who have lived primarily on concrete, often experience negative reactions when they overindulge. Like humans, they develop stomach aches and intestinal discomfort.

Maggie. 71 and Ruby

In February, Nicholas suffered a brief bout of colic after eating copious amounts of dew soaked, tender green grass. He rallied quickly with the standard treatment of bran, mineral oil, molasses, hot water and banamine which we have used for years for 71 who has a history of intestinal problems.

Last week, Ruby, who also has a history of colic episodes, showed signs of distress and we immediately began a course of treatment which included keeping her in the small yard to monitor her stool and food and water intake. Since Maggie occupies the small yard until she goes out into the habitat with the others, Ruby and Maggie shared the smaller habitat.

Elephants, especially seniors (Ruby is forty-eight now), rest better when they are lying down, and Ruby tends to lie down more frequently when she is not involved in the activities of 71 and Mara, so the new arrangement was a benefit to both elephants.

Ruby and Maggie are the two elephants who are seen on the web cam occupying the small yard, and Ruby is the one who (I know non-human animals are written as which, but, to me, they are who) is often lying down. Ruby enjoys lying in the sun, propped against the hill in the small yard, and Maggie loves having a companion when she is not out with the others.

We have received many queries about the new configuration for the elephants; it is another component of socialization that is working well for Ruby and Maggie at this time. As soon as Ruby is feeling better, they will all be out together in the big habitat.Unfortunately, when that happens, they will often be out of range of the web cam, but we will try to solve that problem later. Nothing is ever easy in Elephant Land.As I write this, Ruby is much better and has insisted on going out with 71, Mara and Lulu. Maggie will be in the upper habitat and will probably join the others later in the day.


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Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

(209) 745-2606 office/shelter
(209) 745-1809 fax

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