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Pelusa: The Reality of Decades of a Life in Captivity

I (Kat) am in La Plata Zoo, in Argentina, with Pelusa and Scott is left behind at the sanctuary to take care of Maia and Guida, along with all of our chickens, ducks, dogs, cats and tapirs (we have two new ones and will post about them later). We came to assess her condition and see if she is still healthy enough to travel to sanctuary when all of her paperwork goes through. Her and Ramba are in the same place with their permits and CITES paperwork, but Pelusa will travel by truck only. 

We have talked briefly about Pelusa before. Her feet are in terrible condition, a result of decades in captivity. The city she is in loves her and some don’t understand why we simply can’t improve her enclosure here at the zoo so she can stay. The reality is that captivity caused these problems and until you change everything associated with it, her issues will still remain. Aside from that, she would still be alone. The world now understands more fully the cruelty that exists when keeping an elephant alone. Pelusa like all elephants needs to be part of a herd, and we are hoping to offer that to her.

I made this trip with elephant veterinarian, Dr, Rinku Gohain, to offer a more formal evaluation of her condition. We have been staying at the zoo with her from 8 in the morning, to 8 at night to learn all we can about her. We can share more about her later, for now, I will tell you she is lovely, has a very sweet face, has trained all of her caregivers to get what she wants when she wants it and has just a touch of a punky side. She’s very easy to fall in love with.

 

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