Update on Rana’s Eye


It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on Rana’s eye. It is showing substantial but slow improvement.

For those who don’t know, Rana developed a papilloma on her left eyelid several months ago. It’s the “white thing” near her eye that is noticeable in many photos (you can see it in this photo, taken earlier this week). They can occur on any elephant but are more common in African elephants than Asian elephants. They can appear anywhere on the body, and most of the treatments generally used on papillomas cannot be used this close to her eye safely.

Thankfully, despite its location, it doesn’t seem to cause her discomfort nor interfere with her vision. We’ve used a few different treatments over this time period to figure out what works.

Rana receives treatment for it every other day. It seems to do best when we alternate days – that gives the cells a chance to heal a little and “close up” on the outside. If we wait longer and try it every three days, it builds up a bit of a film, and our treatments don’t have the same impact. It’s probably around half the size it was when we introduced laser therapy as part of its treatment.

We will continue to treat it until it is 110% – that is, we’ll continue treatment for a bit after it fully heals to make sure it is gone for good.

Photo: Rana grazing in a pasture.

March 29, 2020



  1. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    Is it painful? What happens to an untreated papilloma? She certainly trusts you working so near her eye.

    • REPLY
      EleComposer says

      It bothered her before we started treatments – she would blow on it or rub it, which she no longer does. So we assume it doesn’t hurt her as she doesn’t respond when we treat it or clean it. If we don’t clean it, it gets very goopy and starts to attract flies. There’s a possibility that if we don’t treat it, it will grow (it won’t get smaller on its own) and because it’s by her eye, we don’t want it to impede her vision. Hopefully, it will go away with the treatments.

      • Keleljan says

        Thank you so much for that explanation. I would be wonderful if it complete disappeared.

  2. REPLY
    Gillian says

    You never cease to amaze me.Thank you for taking good care of Rana’s eye.Please keep safe.

  3. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    sweet lovely lady? rana. thank you ??for the treatments! i hope this papilloma will disappear totally shrink and fall off eventually as im sure it blocks some of her vision slightly. i.m very sure being the lovely lady she is she definitely knows you are helping her. with this burden around her eye!

  4. REPLY
    Heidi says

    Thank you for your dedication! Rana appreciates it.

  5. REPLY
    Jacqueline Leighton says

    Thankyou for what u do for her

  6. REPLY
    carey says

    Thats great news , I’m very glad to hear it. Thinking about you having to touch so close to her eye she must be v trusting, and probably understands its all helping. She deserves the best this lovely ele

  7. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    So happy to hear the update on Rana’s eye ‘thing’. Down In size by 50% is great progress. ??

  8. REPLY
    Carol says

    How blessed is our Rana, that these state of the art medical treatments are available to her! We are all so grateful for the painstaking care and attention that is given to all the girls. Be well!

  9. REPLY
    Lane Olson says

    As the virus begins to expand in Brazil, please be careful. We send you healing wishes every day.

  10. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    Thank you so very much for all the care you bestow on our lovely girls. Such dedication.
    Much love to you all! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  11. REPLY
    Nancy Nortell says

    I hope it continues to improve!!!

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