These Sweet Elderly Elephants Are So Good at Yoga

Illustration for article titled These Sweet Elderly Elephants Are So Good at Yoga
Screenshot: THV11

Listen, I know that “watching animal videos” is not a novel or unique coping mechanism for briefly unplugging your brain for three to five minutes, but something about watching these elderly elephants doing yoga has me tickled.

These elephants live at the Little Rock Zoo and are put through a series of gentle yet rigorous exercises meant to stretch their giant joints and prevent arthritis. Sophie, 49, and Zina, 57, are two aging Asian elephants who spent most of their lives at the circus and have now retired to to spend their remaining years enjoying some well deserved leisure.


Kristin Warner, elephant zoo manager at the Little Rock Zoo, told THV-11, “We provide activities. We exercise them. They get food, water; they get to play in a pool. We just want them to live a nice, healthy life in their golden years here at Little Rock.”

They also take a pill that is the elephant equivalent of Aleve and teach their younger friend, Babe (also an elephant), to perform these gentle calisthenics so that she can stretch her big ‘phant limbs and stave off uncomfortable twilight years.

It is not sensible or realistic to desire to model my dotage after an elephant, but something about their gentle nature soothes me. Exercise me. Give me food. Water. Let me play in a pool. Treat me like an arthritic, aged elephant and leave me alone.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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As an ICU nurse and a lifelong lover and caretaker for all kinds of creatures great and small over the years, I enjoy hearing applied medical treatments to animals who really haven’t had that advantage in the past. We know the health of elderly and/or debilitated patients (and ALL of us, really!) are improved by movement and exercise so I am thrilled to hear it helps these elephants as well, but am curious what med they give them related to Aleve, is it a standard NSAID like Meloxicam which I see prescribed for dogs, or something on a different level such as a COX-2 inhibitor?