Saturday, April 5, 2008

Assorted elephant pictures #3--4/05/08 continued

These are the next posts that came up after Buckles deferred to John Herriott:

joey ratliff said...

Wade, Amodern study of your question can be made using two Ringling elephants. Rebecca and Zina, both from Billy Smart in England. Zina is totlly paralyzed and at the CEC now. Does anyone know the status of Rebecca?
Our elephant Jean can't curl her trunk but everything else works fine. I had a guy tell me she was being lazy or the muscles weren't worked properly. I told him that both these cows lift logs and various other things around the park for the maintenance and tree dept., what's any better excercise than that buddy!

Anonymous said...

I recall long ago asking Smokey Jones about photos of circus elephants wearing thick leather pads over the front of their head and upper trunk. (I have I have sometimes seen similar photos on this blog.)
He said it was to protect the elephants when pushing very heavy circus wagons that had bolts or other metal knobs protruding from the rear. He said that without the pads the elephants would eventually wind up with paralyzed trunks.
As I have never seen these pads in person, (or even know what they were called), how about some comments from someone who has remove a wagon or two from deep mud?

Don Bloomer

Anonymous said...

Another possibility for trunk lameness MAY be metal intoxication.

Some water pipes, early in the morning, may contain rather a lot of metal, due to the fact that the water can be below zero pH, when water "sucks up" metals. (compare the sexties when a lot of people got metal poisoning from aluminuim jars with sour orange juice).

If, by bad luck, an elephant gets enough of metal, theres a tendency that it moves out to a muscle which is heavily used, and it may permanently damage that muscle.

Nowdays, I often messure the pH of water for every new elephant location. IF the pH is below zero, then I try to messure the level of metals.

In any case, its vise to let the water run some time, before letting the elephants drink, I think, in order to avoid the risk that you feed water which has been in the pipes over the night.

//Dan Koehl

Wade G. Burck said...

Is Jean the elephant whose picture was posted a short while back, as an example of what was going to be used in a photo exhibition of elephants? It was just a head shot.
Wade Burck

P. S. Billy Smarts means you are narrowing it down, and getting out of Europe

The above post was published. But the next two were censored. The posts addressed to Don Bloomer and Dan Koehl which they never saw were:
We now have metal knobs and bolts,(I wonder if them cutting the trunk as the reason for the protection) plus vitamin deficiency added to the mix of paralyzed trunks. I wonder where Johnny Herriott is with his thoughts?
Wade Burck

I like "trunk lameness". It sounds more politically correct then "trunk/beak paralysis." Should we add "metal intoxication" to metal knobs, bolts, and vitamin deficiency to the list that gets longer and longer? Sure hope Johnny gets here soon.

By the end of the day, a picture Joey was kind enough to send on a unrelated subject was posted, and still no word from Johnny Herriott or additional insight from Buckles Woodcock on the subject.
Is it beginning to look like some one is hiding from or ignoring something? Don't forget the initial response was a shot at another elephant trainer and a country. The wrong one at that. I I was hoping the issues of "lame trunks" and "ruptures" would be addressed as I was led to believe Buckles Blog was a repository for circus history. I ran one more post, let's see if the gentlemen it is addressed to get a chance to see it, and hopefully offer their thoughts:

Joey, Don, and Dan,
As you gentlemen are elephant trainers/handlers of some note, what are your thoughts on the "prolapse/rupture" that Jim Z noted and asked about? Don and Dan have already offered their thoughts on the trunk issue, Joey. What do you think is the cause in captive circus elephants, the larger percentage from Great Britian as Buckles blog has inadvertently stumbled upon, that don't push sharp edged wagons, or drink water left if in a pipe over night, and get the same "vitamins" that their stable mates have gotten over the years.

Best wishes,
Wade Burck


Anonymous said...

can any one shine a light on Gunthers elephant name Puppy one of the elephants he came if i am not mistaken with. that had a paralize trunk as well . it was so bad she could barely raise it to drink or eat . maybe Mr. Harriet may rember or know anything on her . CleanRaul

Wade G. Burck said...

Clean Raul,
Are you sure her name was not Pubby, which I was told was short for Pubaha. I would suggest that might be John Miltons call. He pointed us all to Europe, plus he is in pretty tight with the Ringling Animal Care and Management team right now.
Wade Burck

Anonymous said...

thank you for the info Wade . you just won yourself a dozen of deer or reindeer tamales . Clean Raul

DanKoehl said...

An interesting thing, in regard to metal intoxication, was when I measured the blood of all nine elephants on a circus, for different components, including metals.

The level of metal, and especially copper in the bloodsamples showed a perfect line of copper, higher at the end where the first elephants would start to drink, and almost zero at the left side where the ninth and last elephant on the line would always drink.

Its not always that you get such clear insight, as in this example, at least to my eyes, it showed that the elephants that started to drink first in the morning, would get much more copper in the water.

Later, in the rather expensive metal analyze of the drinking water, we found the copper.

Hence, I always let it flow, like I said, and now and then I would also start water the elephants from the left side of the line.

Wade G. Burck said...

I wasn't disputing your findings. I feel more has been learned by the one's actually "knee deep in it" then from any other source. It just seemed at the time that there were a lot of reasons for the disability, while looking away from the most distasteful. And it was brought up as a "knock" at an individual/country, yet after it was "entered into evidence" nobody wanted to touch it.
Do you know of any studies that have been done, pointing to "how" much copper in an elephants system is harmful or debilitating in regards to the trunk? I am suspicious of that conclusion, as I have know individuals who have stood side by side each other for over 40 years, drank the same source of water, ate the same foodstuffs, and one suffers from the affliction and one does not. As stated in my "unscientific observations" I have noted an alarming number of individual with the affliction to also have some type of personality disorder.

DanKoehl said...

heres some records, but not the one I would have liked to show you:

You can see how the african kenya has 3 times as much zink as most of the others