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:
Well, maybe she is just a tad bit vain.