Houston Zoo’s Dr Lauren Travels to Singapore to Save Elephants – Post # 5

One of our expert veterinarians is currently in Singapore working with other wildlife professionals to save elephants from a deadly virus. Embark on this journey with her as she writes about the efforts being made to eradicate the virus and protect Asian elephants around the world.


They put me to work right away helping to facilitate discussionsWildlife Reserves Singapore consists of four separate animal parks: the Singapore Zoo, Singapore Night Safari, Singapore River Safari, and the Jurong Bird Park. The Singapore Zoo has an enormous Orangutan exhibit that houses 27 individuals in an amazing tree top exhibit.  The Night Safari is open only in the evening and focuses on nocturnal animals (and has a delicious dinner buffet to boot!). The Jurong Bird Park contains a massive enclosed aviary with a breathtaking waterfall that falls over a natural cliff around which the park was built. Wildlife Reserves Singapore is hosting our 1st Asian EEHV Strategy Meeting and funded the travel for many wildlife veterinarians and researchers from Asian elephant range countries so that they can attend this important first step in understanding EEHV’s impact in this region. My travel was funded by the Houston Zoo, as part of our ongoing effort to understand EEHV and also to share information and encourage international collaboration.

We learned yesterday that elephant deaths from EEHV (elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus) have been identified in five Asian elephant range countries (India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Myanmar). Our task now is to clarify our next steps in both sharing what we know about EEHV with those that need to know it, and also in learning what we can about the impact of EEHV in this part of the world.The Jurong Bird Park has an amazing collection of birds and aviary surrounding this enormous waterfall, which falls over a natural cliff on which the park is built

Many veterinarians I met are just like my colleagues and I at the Houston Zoo, providing medical care for baby elephants under human care and wanting to do whatever they can to increase their chances of survival.  Some of these veterinarians live onsite with the elephants and have access to diagnostic laboratories and a wide range of veterinary drugs, and some of these vets take a whole day’s travel to even get to the baby elephants, and then make it only if the bridges aren’t out. Some of these elephants are in complex, highly regulated logging camps where their hours worked and medical care are carefully monitored, and some elephants are privately owned and live and work in small camps or with mahout families. Many vets also provide veterinary care and post mortem examinations on wild elephants, and help to care for wild elephants that come into conflict with humans on the border of human/elephant habitats.

The Singapore Zoo has two large male Asian elephants, a father and son, who live together in one exhibit.
There is much to learn about EEHV in wild elephants, and this is the hardest population of elephants to monitor and to determine numbers of and causes of death for. Mapping out the impact of a disease like EEHV on free ranging elephant populations across South Asia requires a well-organized effort and a long term commitment to sample collection and population monitoring. And we are just beginning.

Veterinarians from Thailand and India cast their votes for the most pressing issues regarding EEHV in Asia
Veterinarians from Thailand and India cast their votes for the most pressing issues regarding EEHV in Asia

Today our group identified several documents that we can put together to guide local veterinarians, mahouts and government officials, which we will complete by the end of 2015 and be ready to share by Feb 2016. These documents will be compiled into an EEHV in Asia Strategy Booklet, and will be the basis for the next steps we’ll take in tackling EEHV in this region. Our first step is to get everyone up to speed on what EEHV is, and how to recognize it, and, for those that are able, how to treat it. While we are doing that, we’ll also be encouraging veterinarians to document cases, collect data and start banking samples on captive and wild elephants whenever possible. Next we need to identify resources with which we can help to set up diagnostic laboratories in the countries that really need them, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, and others. We’ll be meeting again in Nov 2016 to gauge our progress and make the next set of plans.

Stay tuned for one more blog about Singapore and about what you can do to help elephants!!



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This morning, we humanely euthanized our male, 20-year-old jaguar, Kan Balam. Due to the tremendous care provided to him by his keepers and our veterinary team, Kan Balam lived well beyond his expected lifespan. Jaguars expected lifespan in the wild is between 12-15 years.

The carnivore staff and veterinary team made the decision after his quality of life began to decline. Quality care and continuous advances in veterinary medicine extends animals’ lives longer than ever, with most felines in human care living well beyond previous generations. Because of this, all cats, including domestic house cats and jaguars, often spend a significant phase of their lives as older animals, and are at a higher risk for geriatric complications.

Read more about Kan B, and the love his keepers had for him on our blog: www.houstonzoo.org/blog/mourning-loss-geriatric-jaguar-kan-balam/
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This morning, we humanely euthanized our male, 20-year-old jaguar, Kan Balam.  Due to the tremendous care provided to him by his keepers and our veterinary team, Kan Balam lived well beyond his expected lifespan. Jaguars expected lifespan in the wild is between 12-15 years. 
 
The carnivore staff and veterinary team made the decision after his quality of life began to decline. Quality care and continuous advances in veterinary medicine extends animals’ lives longer than ever, with most felines in human care living well beyond previous generations. Because of this, all cats, including domestic house cats and jaguars, often spend a significant phase of their lives as older animals, and are at a higher risk for geriatric complications.

Read more about Kan B, and the love his keepers had for him on our blog: https://www.houstonzoo.org/blog/mourning-loss-geriatric-jaguar-kan-balam/

 

Comment on Facebook

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur; happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr #RIP #bigbangtheory

I know he lived a lot longer due to the excellent care he got at the Zoo.

Is this the one that had the limp?

This was my daughters favorite critter at the Zoo. We always went to say hello to him before anyone else whenever we went. When she was 7 years old we sent a post out to out neighborhood on Halloween saying Paisley was asking for pocket change donations in lieu of candy for Halloween and all amounts would be donated to Kan thru the zoo. She raised over $40 in coins! I still have the letter from the zoo thanking her for her donation. He was a sweet boy and will be missed. 😔

I saw him limping about 2 weekends ago. The first time we walked by he was fine. When we walked by on the way out he was limping and moaning pretty loudly. I wondered what happened but I figured his keeper already knew or would find out shortly. Super Sad. He was always a lively one.

Sorry to hear about your loss. We also lost a jaguar(melanistic variety) at Reid Park Zoo about a year ago. Nikita was 21 years old and was euthanized due to health-related issues. Sad, but they have a GOOD life at the zoo! No predators, a steady food supply, medical attention, loving kindness from her keeper(s) and admiration by the public. Geriatric animals have unique problems and we are blessed to get to know them as long as we do.

Jaguar habitat is in the Zoo or Jungle's? ??or is only entertainments for person's? ??$$$$$$$!.Sorry animals the person's don't love you ..

Sending love to the keepers that are broken hearted right now. And thank you for all the care you’ve given.

Thank you Houston Zoo for taking such good care of him and all the animals! I've been going to this zoo since I was little bitty. I always enjoy it.

Dunno if the Zoo staff considered him a pet but he was certainly a family member, and because of that i offer this: RainbowBridge Author Unknown Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Aww. When interning in the carnivore dept he was one of my faves. So smart! Ashley remember when Angie was teaching him to do the moonwalk after Michael Jackson passed?

Beautiful jaguar ....so grateful for the Houston Zoo keepers and veterinary team that gave their time and efforts to share this awesome jaguar with us for so many years.

He was well-cared for and most of all well-loved. My heartfelt condolences to those missing Kan B as well as me. What an amazing ambassador for his kind. What a beautiful old gentleman. Thank you for loving him into old age and giving him peace.

What a great long life he lived because of his excellent care at the zoo Thoughts go out to his keepers and the entire Houston Zoo staff

Thank you for doing what was right and kind for Kan Balam even though it was hard and painful for you. That’s true love for an animal. ❤️

RIP Kan Balam. You have given the visitors so much pleasure just watching you over these years. You were taken care of by top notch professional handlers, etc.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thanks for taking such great care of him so he was able to live a long life. My thoughts are with his keepers and all who adored him. <3

Aww I’m so sorry for the loss, I’ve seen him many times, he was absolutely gorgeous! I’m glad that you guys were able to make him comfortable, sometimes the best thing we can do is let them be at peace. Will miss this handsome guy; play hard at the Rainbow Bridge friend, day hi to my cat, Junior for me!! Much love to the HZI staff!!

Jaguars are one of my favorite and he seems like a sweet boy. I'm so sad but I'm happy he can be painless and be free now. RIP❤️

The Houston Zoo staff has lost several animals this year and I am sure each one is so hard to go through.

I am soo sorry for the loss of this handsome fella Kan Balam. May he rest in peace and run free or any pain over the rainbow bridge.. My heart and prayers go out to each and every one of the staff at the Zoo.

Katie Rose Buckley-Jones I won’t ever forget the time you asked him to bring something and he ripped off a piece of cardboard and tried to hand it to you ❤️ thank you for introducing me to him. Sending you guys many hugs

So sorry to the keeping staff for your loss i cant imagine how youre feeling :( his old age is a testimony to the amazing care he received

I will miss him. The last time I saw him he looked tired, and it appeared his foot was bothering him.

Sad to hear of this. Thanks for taking such good and compassionate care for him and the other animals.

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Social Media Guy to Sea Lion Keeper: Can you send me a pic of you working with the sea lions in this chilly weather?

Sea Lion Keeper: Sure... (sends picture next to sea lion statue)

SMG: I'm still using this.
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Social Media Guy to Sea Lion Keeper: Can you send me a pic of you working with the sea lions in this chilly weather?

Sea Lion Keeper: Sure... (sends picture next to sea lion statue)

SMG: Im still using this.

 

Comment on Facebook

Are there some zoo animals that enjoy this weather?

SMG is another reason why Houston Zoo is the best Zoo!

Happy New Year “sea lion keeper “ 💖💖

More snow for TJ and Max ❤️ lucky them!

Are we positive that’s the statue rather than it really just being that cold? 😛

That’s my best friend Sophie for ya! 😂

Brrrrr

Omg the Zoo is so awesome 😂😂😂 Alana Berry

Omg be warm sweetoe

Haha!! Good one!

Sweetie 💞

Ashley Jucker 😂

Lauren Gonzales

Mike DePope

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