The remarkable journey of a baby elephant named Minnie battling against the deadly Elephant Herpes Virus at Lampang’s Elephant Hospital in Thailand was documented by Channel 5, evoking strong emotions from viewers. The hospital, which takes in around 100 sick and injured elephants annually, provided a setting for the heartwrenching story.
Minnie’s struggle with the virus shed light on the severity of the disease, which has claimed the lives of many young elephants in Thailand in recent years. Marty, Minnie’s dedicated caretaker, faced the challenge of administering 60 anti-viral tablets to her each day, a task made difficult by Minnie’s reluctance to take medicine.
As Minnie’s behavior changed and she developed a fever, Marty ingeniously hid the medication in bananas, her favorite food. The bond between Marty and Minnie was evident, as they were always together during the difficult journey. Minnie’s lack of energy caused concern at the hospital, and she was diagnosed with elephant herpes, a deadly disease that poses a significant threat to elephant calves. With only one-third of infected calves making a full recovery, prompt treatment is crucial for their survival.
Wildlife expert Dr. Paul Donoghue visited Lampang’s Elephant Hospital to observe its operations and witnessed Minnie’s struggle. When Minnie tested positive for the virus, she was promptly given antibiotics to combat the disease. Through Marty’s dedicated care and treatment, Minnie eventually recovered, bringing joy and relief to viewers who had grown attached to her during the documentary. Many viewers expressed their happiness online, leaving comments about Minnie’s recovery and their emotional connection to her story.
While the caretakers, known as mahouts, at the hospital work tirelessly to care for the elephants and their babies, the use of chains on the elephants sparked a discussion among viewers. Some expressed concern about the elephants being ridden and having chains around their necks, highlighting the need for ongoing dialogue and consideration of animal welfare practices.