Rosie the Elephant Update 

The town of Hope is expected to welcome a new resident soon.She’s 42-years old, used to work in the circus, and weighs a whopping six thousand pounds.Joy Hollowell updates us on plans to bring Rosie the elephant to Maine.=====The clock is ticking for veterinarian Jim Laurita. In just a few weeks, this all needs to be ready for a very large package coming from Oklahoma.”Oh yeah, she knows she’s getting more attention than usual,” says Dr. Laurita. “And she’s interested in that attention.”She, is Rosie. The 42-year old retired circus elephant has permanent nerve damage from a leg injury. Dr. Laurita is bringing Rosie to live next door to his home in Hope.”She’s got an indoor stall, over 1,100 square feet,” says Dr. Laurita. “And the slab has the radiant heat in it. On top of that slab is going to be 6-8 inches of washed river sand, which is really nice and soft for her to be standing on.”This week, a state of the art lift is due to arrive. Instead of a crane, the device uses inflatable air to gently lift the animal if she needs it.”Because of her injuries, she really likes to lay on a side hill,” says Dr. Laurita. “So indoor, inside her indoor stall and outdoors in her arce of paddock and pasture, we’re going to have a nice sand hill.”Once Rosie arrives, Dr. Laurita will immediately begin a series of therapies, including ultrasound, Accupunture and Accupressure. Within the next year, he expects to have a water treadmill at the rehabilitation facility.”You have this idea,” says Dr. Laurita, “and you know you have goals but to see it coming, with the girders going up and to see it all coming together is really a great feeling and makes me feel happy to know that she’s going to feel very comfortable, very soon.”+++++If you’d like more information on Rosie and her rehabilitation facility in Hope, log onto www.hopeelephants.orgIn Defense of Animals has publically campaigned against bringing Rosie to Maine. In an email to TV 5, they say “IDA along with some of the world’s most renowned elephant experts, continue to be concerned with her welfare due to the fact that she will be kept alone, which is inhumane for an elephant, and because she will be forced to live indoors in a tiny space for the majority of the time. According to experts who have extensive experience working with elephants, none of Dr. Laurita’s proposed therapies, however well intentioned, can overcome the negative effects of keeping an arthritic elephant confined to a small environment.”