April, 2018 Visit to Pelusa: Part II

Pelusa at La Plata Zoo April, 2018April, 2018 Visit to Pelusa: Part II.  As we mentioned in our post yesterday, Pelusa’s health had declined since our last visit in December. So our first task was to watch her routine and see what we could do to help improve her condition. The reality is, she’s fairly picky, especially for how underweight she is. She has her favorite foods, but even those can change by the day and hour. One day clementines are her favorite and she will stow them in her lip and cheeks, the next day she doesn’t want any. This showed us just how focused and flexible her care was going to have to be.

With someone who is able to literally watch her all day (we do clean, but we can clean and watch ) it makes it easier to adjust her day. To try and get her digestive system on more of a ‘normal’ elephant schedule, we started with many small meals throughout the day, using some of her favorites to encourage hay or grass consumption when she didn’t seem that interested. The first day she didn’t seem to approve of our plan much, but slowly her appetite seemed to increase a bit. Some days are definitely more successful than others. To encourage her movement (which is important for digestion and her entire body, even though her feet are painful) food was placed in different areas, as long as she would move to get it.

There is a lot that is being monitored, adjustments being made, many foods are being tried, but without going into every little detail, the good news is her appetite in general does seem to have improved a bit in a short amount of time and the amount of dung in her habitat has also increased. We are cautious about our excitement because we know she likes one kind of grass for a few days, then decides it’s gross. But right now she has numerous backup options to go to if things shift.

We laugh because Suz will be the first one to admit she likes making animals (and sometimes people) fat. At 2000-2500 lbs underweight, fat isn’t a possibility for Pelu. But it would be thrilling to be able to tell just by looking at her that she is gaining some weight. Hers will be a very long journey of recovery.

The zoo has already agreed to send her to sanctuary and we are just waiting for her CITES permits- both her export and import are already under way. Because her care is going to be so in-depth, we are participating in a fundraising event, the Big Payback, on May 2nd. The first goal of her fundraiser is to raise enough to build a medical jacuzzi for her foot treatments. Not only will it be a more thorough and effective way to treat her feet, but it will also allow her to take weight off of her aching bones for the first time in years. If you would like to support her care once she arrives at sanctuary, you can check out the fundraiser here For those worried about forgetting to give on that date, this year they allow you to schedule your donation, so you can hit the donate button and give now.

We’ll be talking more about her fundraiser and her feet during the week.


April, 2018 Visit to Pelusa Series:

Part I Where To Start

Part II Developing A Plan

Part III Thoughts From Her New Caregiver Suz

Part IV What Pelusa Needs And How You Can Help Give It To Her

Part V This Is Pelusa

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