• Female Asian elephant
  • Age: 46 years old
  • Body condition: extremely underweight and lacking in muscle tone
  • History: brought to the La Plata Zoo at 3 years of age, has lived alone ever since
  • Current Location: La Plata Zoo, Argentina
  • Personality: insecure, quiet, but physically very tough
  • Health: Pelusa has an extremely debilitating foot condition in both back feet, past liver issues due to anti-inflammatory usage to manage pain
  • Factoid: although her name through translate is ‘Fluff’ to people in Argentina it means belly button lint in English


Status of her relocation:

  • Zoo signed agreement to send her to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil
  • Habitat built (she will share a space with Maia and Guida)
  • Brazilian license obtained
  • CITES permits beginning initiation
  • Must go through 30-day quarantine
  • Trained for testing except trunk wash, but knows the needed behaviors
  • GSE will send the crate earlier than usual to allow Pelusa to become comfortable
    with it- due to her insecurities


Her story:

Pelusa as a baby

The thought of Pelusa brings about mixed emotions. When  you see her in photos it’s hard to get past her gaunt appearance and diminished condition. Sometimes there is a sweetness that shines through and immediately creeps into your heart. In person her tough side is palpable, for all that is physically wrong with her, she forges on with a determination that tells you she wants to fight.

It isn’t until she is confronted with something new that you see how insecure her physical body has made her. In videos of the past she has a visible attitude, a little rough and tumble; the strength is still there, it’s the confidence that has gone.

There’s no denying how beautiful she is, even in her current state. Pelusa is a very tall elephant and was probably quite imposing at her healthiest. Although her habitat offers her little, she finds comfort in her caregivers, even seemingly batting her eyes at one in particular. They play a large part in helping her through her days. Along with providing her daily care, they do her morning foot soaks and afternoon treatments.

Pelusa’s foot issues are significant and the unfortunate result of life in captivity. The zoo acknowledges this and is part of the reason for sending her to sanctuary. We all feel her best chance at a more comfortable life will come from natural varied substrate and the ability to walk further. The other big reason for wanting to give her sanctuary is so she can experience the comfort and companionship only another elephant can give to her.

Scott and Kat have both visited with Pelusa several times and are involved in her care. The most recent visit also included Dr. Rinku Gohain to get a current opinion on her ability to travel. At this point we still see it as a viable option, but made recommendations for both her foot and general care that we are hoping will strengthen her more for her move. We will continue to monitor her progress and the final decision as to her ability to make the drive to sanctuary will only come the day she steps onto the transport container and begins her journey. We are very hopeful that she will indeed become one of the next residents of ESB.

Please donate to help provide Pelusa with a life that will not only bring her physical comfort but also lift her spirit and fill her heart by giving her a family to help her along her journey.