Captivity has taken an excruciating toll on Lady
Lady’s feet are in need of extensive care, but in order to be able to do this, she will first need to learn the basics of positive reinforcement training. This will require lots of patience, understanding, and goodies. We use everything from pineapple and watermelon to fruit loops and acerola cherries. Once we can earn her trust and she learns how to present her feet, then we can start with some trimming and get more of an idea of the depth of damage. We are purchasing multiple types of treatments from the states to give us the best chance at having what she needs. We already know we will need the pad treatment and protectant- Lady has obvious and extensive cavities on her pads, but unfortunately, there will be more that we uncover.
Ways to Support Lady’s Healing
Give Lady The Gift of Healing
“But then you look at her feet, and your heart sinks. Of the dozens of captive elephants we have known, her feet are in the top three worst.”
FROM CIRCUS TO ZOO TO SANCTUARY
An ex-circus elephant, Lady was confiscated in 2013 and sent to live at the João Pessoa zoo, where she currently resides. Her circus owner transitioned to the zoo to be one of her keepers. According to officials related to the zoo, her foot disease was already evident at that time. We visited the zoo several years ago, offering a home to Lady, but the zoo decided against it. This year Animal Protection Associations filed a Public Civil Action against the City Hall of João Pessoa and IBAMA (Brazil’s agricultural agency) seeking, among other requests, the transfer of Lady to a more suitable location. The reasoning stated was that Lady is in dire need of highly specialized care, a habitat more conducive to her species and development, and the companionship of others of her kind. After a lengthy legal battle, Elephant Sanctuary Brazil joined the process, and through many conversations, everyone involved has decided that the best place for Lady is Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, and a judicial agreement was signed.
above: Lady at the zoo