When you think of Maine, usually lobster or moose come to mind. Elephants are probably a little more unlikely.
But the New England state is now home to two retired and injured circus elephants, which are being cared for at Hope Elephants, a newly built rehab facility.
The non-profit is run in part by veterinarian Jim Laurita, who was a handler for Opal and Rosie years ago, when he worked with a traveling circus. The Asian elephants, which are now in their 40s, are being treated for nerve damage, leg and foot problems.
“Our goal is rehabilitation for the elephants, education for the local school kids, with the kind of greater goal of bringing the conservation message to the kids,” Laurita said.
Photo: AP via USA Today // Circus elephants Opal and Rosie are spending their retirement at a rehabilitation facility in Maine.
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I love all pets. I wouldn’t be a veterinarian if I didn’t, and I celebrate the human-animal bond every day. I do look forward, though, to the day when these five breeds aren’t as popular. The reasons vary, but in many cases the problems are health-related, and overbreeding by puppy mills and other less-than-ideal operations has a lot to do with that. What would help these breeds is for there to be a lot less of them. A couple of them need many more adopters and far less breeding, and all would benefit from people who are well-prepared for the challenges of owning a dog, and who make sure to look to rescue, shelters and reputable breeders for their pets. As always, whatever pet you choose, we veterinarians are here to help you make healthy choices for life.
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