Recently I had the opportunity to provide emergency foot care for an elephant in Nepal. I am currently in the US and Chanchal Kali, the elephant with the split nail, lives in Nepal. The injury was not the biggest challenge, our opposite locations was.
Since I have interns in Nepal, I believed that I could assemble a team. But addressing this particular injury was something my interns were not confident about, they needed guidance. So I decided to test technology. Hopefully conducting the nail trimming procedure remotely, using a live feed, would work? We had to try. So, Donna of Direct Aid Nepal organized the mahouts and Chanchal Kali. Lena of Association Moey made sure her staff, both interns of mine, were available to help. And just by chance, Annette, one of my advanced interns, just happened to be in Nepal at the time. Our team was assembled and ready to give it a try.
At 8am Nepali time, 9pm EST we connected via Whatsapp. As we expected the wifi was weak, the connection dropped several times. But even with the intermittent disconnects, I was able to view the toe and provide step by step instruction. Sanjay and Annette trimmed, Sweta translated and managed the live feed, Donna provided treats, and Chanchal Kali and her mahouts were incredibly cooperative and calm. The crack was deep and causing her pain. Thanks to a successful procedure the pressure is off the crack and the mahouts will monitor as she heals.
Thank goodness for this technology which enabled us to provide quality care for an elephant in need, halfway around the world. Go Team!