This 15 year old Asian elephant was born in captivity and raised to be a circus performer.
After years of harmful training and constant confinement he now
lives happily at a sanctuary called “PAWS” – Performing Animal Welfare Society.
Please visit their website www.pawsweb.org to learn more about Nick’s beautiful
home and to meet the other elephants that have been given refuge at PAWS - you
will find endless amounts of information and tons of adorable photos! I took
this one when I attended a conference there…Nick was having a blast with the
fountain in the middle of his lake. He used his foot to direct the spray and
then he stomped around splashing water everywhere. The property is magnificent –
hundreds of acres of rolling hills, lakes and four state of the art barns – all
designed specifically for the elephant’s needs.
In this photo you can see Nick’s caregiver using positive reinforcement (carrots) to check his feet. Elephants that have spent their lives standing on hard surfaces, chained and/or given limited exercise, have foot problems, so it is important to be able to care for their feet. The giant Q-tip looking wands are used to ask for specific actions and unlike the bull hook, they never touch the elephant.
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