This video shows what Ruth has lived through in the past 28 years at Buttonwood Park Zoo.
While we would love to retire both Ruth & Emily, due to concerns over Ruth's health and safety, we are advocating her immediate relocation to The Elephant Sanctuary.
Injuries Ruth suffered in the early morning hours of January 3, 2014
left lasting scars. Frostbite took parts of her ears, skin, and 10" of her tail.
Within weeks of being found outside, Ruth contracted two types of staph infections and
a streptococcus infection. She suffered from ruptured boils, abscesses, and lesions on her tail, her vulva, her ears, and the backs of her legs because the Zoo didn't catch the
infections quick enough and didn't get her the medicine she needed fast enough (see Records 2014).
Since April 2014, Ruth has been seen limping--swinging her right front leg out, unable to bend her elbow or wrist (elephants' front legs bend like arms). But the records do not show
any medical care until November, when we inquired why she was limping. Only then did she receive laser therapy and only on sporadically.
Oddly, the zoo claims that Ruth's leg gets less stiff by the afternoon after she has been able to move around. Even the zoo understands Ruth's need for longer periods of more space to get better.
But even late afternoon videos from last summer show Ruth still limping, and at times her leg was swollen.
Worse yet, Ruth was attacked by Emily three more times since August 2014. On November 9, 2014, just four days after Ruth's tail was amputated, Emily pulled the remaining tail causing Ruth to trumpet in
Expanding the exhibit as the zoo plans won't change that. Nor will it make it any warmer in New Bedford.
What Ruth needs is real space to stretch her legs in a climate that is warm enough for her to be out year round.