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Update from the Field

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
 
With heavy hearts, we bring you an update of the orphaned calf, Agam
 
We first told you about Agam back in November of 2012 when he was rescued by local villagers after he fell into an abandoned well in the province of Aceh, Sumatra.  It is estimated that he was 3-4 months old at the time.  The Veterinary Society for Sumatran Wildlife Conservation (VESSWIC) was contacted and one of their veterinarians spent several days in December caring for Agam while they searched for his family. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful, so the decision was made to take Agam to the Elephant Conservation Center (ECC) in Saree, Aceh, where he received proper care and medical attention.  

Agam was growing well and turning into a lovely elephant when his accident occurred. Below is a statement from Dr. Christopher Stremme of VESSWIC. 
The orphaned baby elephant Agam about three months ago was running around playing with another young elephant (Rosa) and slipped and fell down on a slope. Very sadly during this event he very severely injured his hip-joint. It appeared to be a hip joint dislocation but it was not possible to clearly determine what and how much damage in detail had been done to the bones, muscle and tendon structures in the area of his left hip joint. Several attempts to take an x- ray of his pelvis, hip joint and upper leg unfortunately were not successful because the x-ray machine available from the local veterinary faculty was not powerful enough to produce sufficient pictures of tissue of this thickness. 
The lameness caused by this hip joint injury is very severe and Agam since this incident is almost completely unable to use his right hind leg to bear any weight on it. Pain management and anti-inflammatory treatments initially seemed to be able to result in some relief and improvement of his mobility and for some weeks seemed to somehow help him to cope with his injury, he still was able to stand up and slowly walk around by himself and his appetite was undisturbed. But sadly by then it was already very obvious that this injury would not fully heal and recover to normal and with increasing age and bodyweight it would not only worsen the condition and structure of the damaged joint and leg, but also due to increased weight on the other three legs potentially cause joint damage specially on the left hind leg and thus significantly shorten Agams life expectancy.

Unfortunately all attempts with medications, massages and physiotherapy during the last weeks to improve his situation have not led to any success and during the past 3 weeks the condition of both of Agam’s hind legs has dramatically worsened to a condition where he is not able to stand up anymore by himself and even needs mechanical assistance to stand on three legs to ensure not to fall down again so ha can continue to feed. His appetite is still normal but his condition is increasingly becoming an ongoing torture. We don’t see any chance anymore of improvement in his condition and he is obviously being tortured by his condition, se we have strongly suggested to the authorities to permit euthanasia. We have formerly requested the approval from the authorities to proceed with this, as Sumatran elephants are protected animals and is strictly prohibited by law to kill such animals and there is no exception for this in the laws for euthanasia in such medical cases. We are currently waiting for approval from the authorities to proceed and continue to provide support, food and as much pain free comfort as possible until this time.

We are very grateful for all the support everybody has provided Agam and very sad to bring you this news. Agam has progressed very well over the last year so this situation is very unfortunate. We wish to thank you all and hope that in Agam’s name you will continue to do whatever you can to help fight for the survival of the Sumatran elephant. 

AES Mission

  • Provide financial support for the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries that meet our criteria for care of captive elephants and for conservation of the species.
  • Increase awareness of the needs and future of the Asian elephant.
  • Increase awareness of the humane treatment of elephants living in captivity.
  • Provide educational opportunities to those persons who care for captive Asian elephants in range countries.
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 “For in the end, we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.

We will understand only what we are taught.” 
-Baba Dioum
THANK YOU
 
We  wish to extend a very sincere thank you to each donor who has voted their support with a financial gift. We value that confidence and will always do our best for the animals we all care for so deeply.

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