Snell Provides Elephant with New Shoe
April 19, 2012
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (April 19, 2012) – Snell
Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory treated its largest patient ever when it
fitted Jewell the elephant with a custom orthotic shoe designed to help the
elephant walk steady.
60-year-old Asian elephant living at the Little Rock Zoo since spring of last
year, was having trouble walking on her front right leg. As an elephant of advanced age, Jewell’s
joints are not as limber as they once were making it more difficult for the
9,000 pound pachyderm to evenly distribute her weight on all four legs.
Keepers started to
observe Jewell walking abnormally and wondered if there was a way to create a
device for the animal that would help her to better distribute her weight on
her legs. Seeing various prototypes from
other zoos around the country, Zoo staff contacted Snell to see if they might
be able to create a custom shoe for Jewell that would help the elephant walk.
Snell, a leader in
crafting custom prosthetics and orthotics since 1911, welcomed the challenge of
fitting Jewell with a custom orthotic shoe.
Snell’s team took measurements of Jewell’s feet and designed a prototype
for the Zoo to try on Jewell’s front right foot. After a few additional modifications were
made, the shoe was completed and delivered to the Zoo.
Zoo staff work
with Jewell on wearing the orthotic during the day and have noticed a change for
the better in the way she walks.
“The orthotic shoe
provided by Snell has stabilized Jewell’s front foot and helped her to
distribute her weight evenly. Keeper
staff have noticed Jewell walking more and any wear on her foot that was
present before is disappearing,” said Large Hoof Stock Curator Joe Darcangelo.
Snell and Zoo
staff will continue to monitor Jewell’s progress.
The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the
American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA).
Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your
assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent
care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living
things. With its more than 200
accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your
link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit www.aza.org.