Posted by: bridget | 8 February 2007

Ivory-Tusked Love

Ambika, a 59-year-old elephant at the National Zoo in DC, is recovering from internal bleeding and a blood clot. Although old, the Elephas maximus had been in good health (this pachyderm saw her in July) until a few weeks ago. At that point, she lost five gallons of blood, became lethargic, and refused her favourite treats. Fortunately, curators, adied by Dennis Schmitt and the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation, were able to determine that her blood clot has stopped the internal haemorrhaging.

Ambika is recovering and, according to the Washington Post, mugging for cameras. Curators expect to keep her around for several more years: in the wild, elephants slowly starve to death when they lose their teeth, but Ambika will get mushy food (inter alia, beet pulp).

In other elephant news, a poor soul found this blog by searching for, “What is a pachyderm?” In no particular order: the mascot of Tufts; the symbol of the Republican party; a nonruminant ungulate (usually with a prehensile trunk), or a thick-skinned person or a person with an excellent memory.

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