Just a little update on our big guy, Jabu. The orthotic leg brace returned to camp from Virginia, was re-adjusted and test driven. It went very well. Here is a clip of how it is put on!
You can see how steady and calm Jabu is while being assisted. There are very few elephants, especially African bulls, that would accept this level of help! Due to Doug and Sandi's extremely trusting, consistent and loving relationship with Jabu over his lifetime, Jabu is quite willing to try the brace out. Jabu is so deserving of the world's attention and innovation to get him back to full mobility again. Thank you Derrick for making this brace, and Animal Planet for soon showcasing the story this upcoming June.
We now wait for the all important x-rays to be done which were delayed due to scheduling hiccups. It's not as easy as one thinks to arrange x-rays for an elephant in Botswana. Firstly, the high resolution machine necessary isn't available in the country. So we have to bring an external 120 kv portable x-ray machine in. This is a special item only few vets own therefore we have to wait for busy schedules to open up. The x-ray day itself is quite a feat and requires vets flying into the bush and staying in camps. We hope imaging will be done by month's end.
Since we realize Jabu needs ongoing diagnostics and monitoring, we are wondering if buying a machine for Botswana would be good idea?! We'd like to start a conversation and/or fundraising for that. They can cost up to $100,000. Maybe an x-ray supplier might want to sponsor one?
In the meantime, we are working with Animal Planet public relations to ensure the Dodo Heroes episode showcasing Jabu can help raise funds for his future treatments and support. We are hopeful that this will help. Watch for the show in the USA in June!
On a treatment level, Dr. Johnson from Colorado State University DVM Centre for Immune & Regenerative Medicine is busy growing and expanding elephant stem cells for Jabu. This is a very sophisticated treatment and requires us to have special CITES permits which are underway. It is a treatment that could make a substantial difference to Jabu's arthritic condition. We will need funds to transport cells and Dr. Johnson here this year. Please help us make this happen.
In the near term, we are starting an inter-muscular drug therapy (pentosane polysulphate) on Jabu that has shown success with arthritic horses, cats and dogs. It helps with supporting joint cartilage. We will give Jabu his first injection when our vets visit, thanks to your donations covering the first half year of treatments.
We are so thankful for all of your continued support, GFM shares and donations. Jabu's innovative care and associated costs will be long-term, so please keep sharing Jabu's story.
Author: Kelsey Envik Images/Video: Sandi Groves Guardians: Sandi and Doug Groves