Female Asian Elephant
When we visited Bambi in 2013 she was spunky, but...
seven years later and she is a different elephant.
When we visited Bambi at the Leme Zoo in 2013, she was interactive when we initially arrived. She was all ears and attentive when we spoke to her, but she never vocalized. She was on the brink of being silly—you could see it in her face, sticking her tail out—just a half a step away, but never got there. We were brought closer to look at her, and she was respectful but much more reserved with people near. The zoo, who had only taken her temporarily after she was confiscated from the circus, asked us if we could take her. It was a surreal but sad moment that they were offering, yet we did not even have a property for the sanctuary at that point. Leaving the zoo that day, we knew there was a chance that she might never know sanctuary. And it was heartbreaking.
A SHADOW OF HER FORMER SELF
It has been seven years since then, however, and the cute little butterball we briefly knew is a shadow of her former self. Bambi has lost a significant amount of muscle mass and weight. She is now blind in one eye and carries her head low. Being unsure of the reason for her decline in condition, we are preparing for the possibility of a serious health situation. Even if this is the case, we do expect significant room for improvement in Bambi’s health. Her age alone implies end-of-life care, so it’s crucial to prioritize comfort in her remaining years. We are hopeful that when the ESB team is able to care for her, some simple adjustments such as diet and exercise could make a huge difference for Bambi physically. And as anyone who has followed our past rescues knows, autonomy, individualized care and respect, and the support of compatible herd members help to heal the soul.
58 years old
Zoo in Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
Don’t know her well enough yet
Circus elephant for 40+ years. Confiscated and sent to Lemme Zoo for 5 years, then Zoo at Ribeirão Preto since 2015.
Blind in one eye, suspected joint issues, and possible kidney issues but not fully diagnosed due to lack of testing.
Severely underweight and muscle loss.
Bambi has been separated and alternating space with female Asian elephant, Maison, for over 5 years. Only recently did the zoo split their yard with hotwire, and they have been sharing the yard instead.