Construction of Laos' first Elephant Hospital is now completed at the Center. Our Vets Nicola Magnaghi and Thongsavath Douangdy will settle there in the coming October. The facility is available for all elephants of Laos who need special treatment.
Equipped with a laboratory, a restraining crush and quarantine facilities, this hospital plays a crucial role in allowing treatment of heavy pathologies otherwise impossible to treat on site. Funded by the Beauval Zoo Park from France, the Elephant Hospital is staffed with an international team of vets and welcomes veterinary students from the world to come and gain on-site experience with this unique mega mammal.
Training is provided all year long to Lao village vet workers and mahouts in basic veterinary care and emergency protocols. Mahouts and elephant owners receive administrative support to register their elephant and receive care from the Lao Elephant Care and Management Programme run by the Department of Livestock (Ministry of Culture) and ElefantAsia.
The Elephant Hospital can treat up to two elephants simultaneously. Funds are still needed to purchase a crane-equipped transport truck for elephants who can't be lifted or walk to the site.
However, we are confident that the new hospital will allow us to save more elephants that would otherwise die from infected wounds and lethal pathologies.
A mother and calf have just arrived at the Center and will stay until the baby's weaning is over... and hopefully longer. The couple has arrived via the Baby Bonus breeding program.
The baby elephant is a female and she hasn't got a name yet. She is only 1 year old and will receive her name at 3. She will actually choose 1 name out of 3 names engraved in a sugar cane stick! Until then, we will call her noy ("small") as the tradition requires!
Mae Boungnor, Noy's mum gave birth in August 2010. She is doing very well althrough she is still a bit reluctant to take her baby in the water. According to her mahout, she must feel that the banks of the lake are too muddy during this rainy season and this might represent a risk for her baby. So baby and mum enjoy watering at the water pump and in the river near their feeding area.
The 6th elephant to arrive at the Conservation Center, Mae Thongkhoun, is 21 months pregnant! That means she will deliver her baby within a month's time, in October 2011! We can't wait to welcome the Center's 7th elephant! Noy will soon have a friend to play with!
Pregnancies in elephants are very hard to detect before they reach a late stage. It is usually around the 16th month of pregnancy that physical signs occur. Elephants commonly give birth at night and are thus difficult to observe at this time when they are kept in nature.