At Last! The Answer to One of the Zoo’s Most-Asked Questions!

If you’ve visited the zoo in the last few weeks, you may have noticed that Edie, one of our African elephants, happens to have very shiny tusks these days…Image

Why, you ask, would an elephant be sporting metal caps on her tusks?  Is Edie accessorizing these days?

Well, while we must admit a girl likes a little bling, the reason is not due to Edie’s sense of style.

Edie likes to rub her tusks on things-all elephants do.  Unfortunately, this can ultimately cause cracks in her tusks, and since tusks are modified molars-giant teeth, if you will-cracks may eventually lead to an infection in the pulp of the tusk, which, in a worst-case scenario, might even lead to an elephant version of a root canal.  So our veterinarians and keepers placed stainless steel caps on the ends of her tusks to protect them-much like your dentist would cap a tooth.  The caps will hopefully prevent any future dentistry issues.  They’re attached to Edie’s tusks with epoxy, and will remain on the ends of her tusks as they grow.

Here’s a close-up of Edie showing off her shiny new caps:

Image

Well, maybe she is just a tad bit vain.

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Categories: elephants | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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