Lucky: a fitting name for the young female elephant who has made a full recovery from her brush with death at the beginning of last year. In February 2015, Lucky contracted Endotheliotropic Elephant Herpes Virus, a virus fatal to over 90% of the elephants who contract it. Over a year later, Lucky is finally off all medication, is gaining weight and getting back to her old, healthy self. By December 2015, Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) staff was still injecting Lucky every other day with 500mg of the corticosteroid that helped save her life. Her caretakers gradually reduced her medication until three months ago when she was finally healthy enough to stop receiving medication. Although she has recovered from the virus, the illness severely harmed Lucky’s immune system and she contracts frequent infections which are treated as they come.
Lucky’s treatments, which cost over $40,000, were made possible by many generous donors. We would like to thank them for the immediate support they provided during the first critical stages of her illness. Although it was a large expense, the life of this magnificent endangered animal is priceless. Lucky has been at PTWRC for fifteen years after she was rescued at just six months of age. She has become our Elephant Ambassador and has touched the hearts of thousands and has inspired the next generation of conservationists and environmentalists in Cambodia. She even acted as an adoptive mother when the injured elephant Chhouk arrived at the center. Lucky is an incredible animal that continues to inspire us all. We are happy to have her back to her old cheeky self, once again throwing dirt and water at visitors when she doesn’t get enough attention from them.