Pelusa Part IV: Where Does That Leave Us Now?

Pelusa at the La Plata ZooPelusa Part IV: So where does that leave us now?

Pelusa has found her way into many hearts- she is more stunning (inside and out) than any photo could ever show. Those of us who care for her are all still fighting to bring her to sanctuary, but that future isn’t a certainty. Pelusa’s import and export CITES permits are both currently in progress and we are hoping to be able to rescue her within a couple of months- although bureaucracy determines the timing and Pelusa determines the possibility.

With every visit Pelusa is assessed and it is determined whether we believe she can survive a four-day transport. Her rescue will be the most risky of any that Scott has taken part in. In all honesty, there is a chance she could die on the road. Pelusa is not just underweight or old, her entire system is run down and stress will only make things worse. The question is whether the reward outweighs the risk, and at this point, everyone on her team believes it does. The statement was made when one of her vets visited the sanctuary that “Even if she were only to live a few days here, it would be worth it.”

As with every elephant that arrives at sanctuary, we don’t hold them to any expectations- they simply don’t need that burden. This doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try everything we know how or we’re feeling defeated- but we will balance this with realism, all the while welcoming any mini miracles that choose to come her way.

Unfortunately it appears Pelusa has continued to lose weight since our last visit in part due to issues with getting quality grass hay (something we continue to work on.) This past week she has shown signs of increased exhaustion, including spending more time leaning on her gates. It’s not the news we wanted to hear, but we are still moving forward with the intention of moving her.

The other day we posted that adjustments were being made to Pelusa’s transport container to increase the height, since she is incredible tall. Once the adjustments are finished, the crate will be sent to the zoo to give her time to get used to it. The amount of time we give her with her crate will be much more than we will do with other elephants, and this is because of her fear of new things. Scott will also travel to the zoo to help determine a place to set up the crate and introduce the caregivers to ways they can encourage her and create positive associations with the container. The caregivers have already started closing the gates of her treatment chute to get her used to being closed in.

This trip will also allow Scott to assess Pelusa and determine how to continue down this path we’re all now traveling together. We will share any updates, whether about CITES progress or Scott’s visit. In the meanwhile, please keep Pelu in your thoughts in a positive and supportive way. At this point, it will take all of us to bring her home to sanctuary.

For those just seeing this post- please look back through the posts for the past three previous days to learn more about Pelusa or go to her page on our website- which gives a much shorter version of her story. and as always, after you finish reading, if you have any questions please ask. Just try to keep things positive. Thanks 



Pelusa Part I:  An Update

Pelusa Part II:  Dr. Rinku Gohain and Kat Blais’ Visit

Pelusa Part III:  Her Foot And Joint Issues

Pelusa Part IV:  Where Does That Leave Us Now



  1. REPLY
    Cherie Carson says

    Thank you for doing this. For caring so much. I pray for success and that she realize that she is loved.

  2. REPLY
    Tiffany Parker says

    Thank You so much for these updates. My heart is with you dear girl.

  3. REPLY
    Shirley says

    You are all in my heart and mind and will continue to be so.

  4. REPLY
    Tina says

    Hang in there gorgeous Pelusa! ????????

  5. REPLY
    Lissa says

    Thank you all for everything you do to help our dear elephants! I saw an update today that our sweet girl Pelusa gained 555 pounds. You hang in there my sweet girl. You can do it! We believe in you! You have a lot of people rooting for you and who love you! You will make it to your new home with a sweet family of elephants. 🙂 ????

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.