Ruth the Elephant has gone ill and is suffering from Gastro-Intestinal Statis.The 58 year old Elephant is among the three oldest Asian Elephants held in captivity and Buttonwood Park Zoo Director, Keith Lovett tells us that age is playing a factor in recovery.

"Anytime when you're dealing with an animal this age, everything is complicated."

After discovering the health and wellness of Ruth, Lovett released this statement:

“A team of veterinarians is monitoring and treating one of the Buttonwood Park Zoo’s elephants, Ruth, a 58-year-old Asian Elephant, for health complications. Ruth’s keepers monitor her health status daily and on Sunday, July 17, found signs of gastrointestinal difficulties. A veterinary care team, which includes national experts in elephant care, has been assembled to conduct a full medical exam to develop the best treatment approach.

At 58-years-old, Ruth is the third oldest living Asian Elephant in the United States and has lived well beyond the average life expectancy for Asian Elephants. In their advanced years, elephants often experience many of the same health challenges that aging humans face including infections and cancer.

Ruth came to the Buttonwood Park Zoo in 1986 after she was found abandoned in Danvers, Massachusetts. Ruth’s private owner had used her as an elephant for hire at regional parades, birthday parties and other community events. He came under investigation for improper animal care in 1986 and while attempting to flee abandoned his trailer with Ruth in it. Ruth has been lovingly cared for by Buttonwood Park Zoo keepers and staff ever since.

In the 30 years since Ruth arrived at Buttonwood Park Zoo she has captivated the hearts of visitors of all ages including her keepers, some of whom have cared for her for decades.

The Buttonwood Park Zoo will share further information on Ruth’s condition as it becomes available.”

When asked about Ruth's outlook, Lovett stated that she is currently fine and being treated to many fluids to help with her condition. Ruth has been unable to pass food for quite some time.

"She's stable at the moment but guarded, she doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain and we are monitoring her around the clock. We have a team of vets surrounding her including a special vet that we flew in who is the best with Elephant care".

Ruth's companion, Emily the elephant has been showing signs of affection amidst the health complications of Ruth.

"Emily is curious to what's going on and is paying attention." Lovett says, "She was seen putting her trunk around her".

As of now, all we can do is sit back and wait for Ruth to recover from this terrible GI illness.  #PrayForRuth