Just like humans, elephants need a full-body MOT from time to time to check that their health is in good order. And this week, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.
We called on Stijn Luyck, a Belgian based in the US, an expert in advanced body imaging, who came to Noah’s Ark on Tuesday from Sound™ – a Californian-based company – to look at our two elephants Janu and M’Changa. Stijn brought with him a special portable x-ray unit in order to check their ankles, tusks, trunks and joints.
Over time, both elephants have been trained to present their feet and ankles to our zoo keepers. They put them through a steel-framed gate so that we can give them regular health examinations. Perhaps they now think of it as a foot massage treat!
This week, though, Stijn came from Sound™ to give the elephants, particularly Janu, an extra special once-over. Sound™ specialises in veterinary digital radiography, ultrasound and PACS image management, and is renowned as the industry’s largest and most-trusted source for technology such as x-ray and telemedicine. Out of interest, we also asked him to look at some of our other animals during his visit.
It’s been all go this week in Elephant Eden… as well as the vet checks for the elephants, Janu has celebrated his 10th birthday! We can hardly believe Janu – an African bull elephant who came to us last September from Port Lympne Reserve in Kent – is now a decade old. M’Changa is slightly younger at six-years-old – he came from Boras Zoo in Sweden last November and the two love playing together.
They have made an excellent life for themselves here at Elephant Eden and settled in tremendously well. Elephant Eden spans over twenty acres and is considered to be a five-star paradise for elephants. We are currently in talks with other European zoos about how we could welcome more elephants to our modern facility and establish the herd.
In the long-term, we hope to build a sustainable, healthy herd. We very much value these extensive and thorough vet checks as, naturally, we want to ensure our elephants are kept in the best health possible. Our Head Elephant Keeper has over 12 years’ experience working directly with elephants, so together with advice from US experts we can keep our elephants in tip-top condition.
We will receive the results of the x-rays, along with the rest of the report, in the very near future. This will be an extremely useful resource for our keepers when they are putting together health care plans for the elephants.
Come and say hello to our elephants and other amazing animals when you are next in the area!