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On Thursday evening, three of the MEF volunteers were lucky enough to accompany Dr. Dangolla on a visit to a sick elephant a few hours away from the center. This elephant had been suffering from a condition that occurs when an elephant eats too much food too quickly (similar to human constipation). This leads to improper digestion and a large sum of undigested food left in the elephant’s stomach and intestines which is unable to move through the system properly. The result is that the elephant is in pain and cannot eat or rest properly until the food passes through the digestive system. The volunteers got to watch Dr. Dangolla, along with his two assistants, administer an IV treatment to the elephant which helped the food pass through. After the treatment was completed, they also watched the mahout perform an enema on his elephant, during which he inserted a local herbal mixture inside of the elephant’s rectum. Within minutes the elephant was passing gas again, a good sign! Although the volunteers only got to participate minimally in the treatment, watching the whole process of treating a sick elephant was quite the memorable experience!

Amber Backwell

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