Moisturiser answers elephant call
Moisturising their elderly charges has become a new duty for the elephant keepers
Having a hide as thick as an elephant can be a liability in the hot weather, as a herd of pachyderms at Belfast Zoo has learnt. Four elderly female elephants at the zoo have been struggling with the recent good weather, with bedsores and dry skin around their feet.
Now their keepers are using supermarket own-brand moisturiser to keep them if not silky smooth, comfortable.
The zoo has the four females in a type of retirement home for older elephants.
Elephant curator Alyn Cairns said they were using Tesco own-brand moisturiser to alleviate their dry skin.
"Our herd of four older females is now complete and we want to provide them with the best care in their old age," she said.
"That includes looking after their skin."
Under veterinary advice the elephant team tried many different creams to soften the skin of the elephants, but with limited effect, he said.
Keeper Aisling McMahon came to the rescue suggesting the moisturising cream she used.
"I found it difficult to find a good moisturiser for my own skin and when I realised this particular one worked for me, I suggested it to the team," she said.
"The elephants now get moisturised regularly. Cream is applied to the elephant's feet, bum and body."
Having an 'elephant strength' type of moisturiser was a surprise for the supermarket.
Caoimhe Mannion, marketing manager of Tesco in Northern Ireland, said: "It is essential that people protect their skins in hot weather - but I didn't realise elephants were such big fans of our products."
BBC NEWS | UK | Northern Ireland | Moisturiser answers elephant call