Day 3 – An Herbal Foot Soak for Lady


This morning they started the day with an herbal foot soak for Lady. She was very good- nice and relaxed. She also decided that she wanted her whole body to smell lovely and gave herself a little bath.

Foot soaks are not something she is trained for, this just happens to be somewhere she normally stands, and we are taking advantage of an already existing behavior and her food motivation. Although the herbs have antibiotic and antifungal properties, the goal of the soaks is to reduce inflammation. We are looking for ways to bring her additional comfort during her trip without compromising her body.

A big question yesterday was ‘can you start foot treatment and can she get antibiotics’. Unfortunately, antibiotics don’t do much for severe foot infections. Throughout history, numerous antibiotics, delivered through different routes have been tried without success. Often they cause significant GI issues leading to other problems. In regards to trimming or treating her feet, Lady isn’t trained for foot care nor is there a safe place to carry out foot care at the zoo.

When she arrives at the sanctuary she will have to be trained to present her feet, allow touching, then allow trimming and filing in order for us to do what we need. It isn’t an instant process, it will take time. Her only training was at the circus through dominance, so she will need to understand how positive reinforcement training works first- which is often difficult for dominated elephants. But with her food motivation and the new foot jacuzzi we built, we should at least be able to start with medicated soaks and sprays to begin the healing.


November 23, 2019



  1. REPLY
    Carol says

    So relieved our Lady will begin the healing process…all in good time.

  2. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    Every little helps, and I am sure Lady loves the attention your are giving her. Does she show any indication of pain? Or is she so used to having painful feet that she appears to cope?

    • REPLY
      EleComposer says

      Lady is still in how she walks, but she doesn’t show her pain in drastic ways. She has been suffering from this condition for many years. elephants are not only stoic but in nature, if they show weakness it is detrimental to their well-being. So they will hide any sign of pain or suffering for as long as they can. but it is clear she is very uncomfortable in her gait.

  3. REPLY
    CyrAnn says

    This is great news. I’m glad Lady is responding so nicely!!!!
    She really is the cutest cheeky little one!

  4. REPLY
    carey says

    wonderful, I hope it makes her more comfortable, what a good idea to do it before your long journey home.

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