National Zoo

These Boots Are Made for Walking: National Zoo Elephant Gets Footwear

An elephant at the National Zoo has received a large pair of shoes to help with her arthritis. 

Shanthi, a 41-year-old Asian elephant, was recently fitted with Washington's largest pair of Teva boots for her front feet, The Washington Post reports. The boots are about a size 20, with an EEEEEEEEEEEE width.

Zoo curator Tony Barthel says Shanthi's arthritis has caused her to lean forward on her front feet, stressing them. Zoo veterans treated the arthritis with injections and topical treatments, but needed a way to keep debris out of the fissures in her feet. That's where the boots came in. 

Digital scans of Shanthi's feet were taken and sent to footwear company Teva, which created the boots. 

Since receiving the footwear, keepers say the swelling in Shanthi's left front foot has eased, and she is more mobile.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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