Tricia the elephant gets daily massages

22 November 2013 4:29 AM

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Tricia the elephant gets daily massages

Perth Zoo's senior elephant is 56 years old, and the zoo veterinarians are keen to maintain the gentle giant's mobility and flexibility as she ages.

Using a donated animal massage-therapy back pad, which looks like a saddle, Tricia is treated twice a day to a deep tissue massage that penetrates to her bones.

While Tricia is not experiencing muscle aches associated with ageing, the massages are a preventative health program to ensure the beloved Asian elephant has a long life.

Perth Zoo's senior vet Simone Vitali said the cycloid vibration therapy equipment was based on technology that originated in the treatment of humans and had been used on horses.

"This is something that we've pioneered with Tricia. We haven't used this technology on other animals," she told reporters on Friday.

"There aren't many animals in the zoo environment that are as well conditioned and as happy to co-operate with us as Tricia is.

"We also don't have the challenges with other animals that we have with something the size of an elephant.

"With an elephant there are so few ways that you can help them in terms of their musculoskeletal health, so this is what's been really revolutionary for us."

Tricia's health-care program also involves regular teeth and gum cleaning, and an exercise routine that includes daily walks through the zoo grounds.

Source: news.ninemsn.com.au

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