Megan the Elephant Has High Blood Pressure From Stress of Captivity

  • by: Laura G
  • recipient: Kansas City Zoo Board of Directors

Elephants in captivity are known to suffer from ailments like arthritis, deadly foot disease, and stress-related repetitive behaviors. Now veterinarians at the Kansas City Zoo are treating what they believe could be the first elephant in the world to have high blood pressure, or hypertension.

The condition was discovered after Megan, a 40-year-old African elephant, collapsed in her exhibit in December 2017. Her blood pressure was significantly elevated and an EKG showed abnormalities in her heart. Further testing confirmed that Megan likely had an adrenal tumor.

Because the tumor could be tiny, current technology made it impossible to have it surgically located and removed. So the zoo's veterinarians are treating Megan's hypertension the same way doctors treat it in humans: with medication that she'll have to take for the rest of her life.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises humans with hypertension to walk and exercise regularly to help lower their blood pressure, and to take measures to reduce their stress levels.

Since Megan is being treated with human medication, it would make sense for the zoo to follow the WHO's recommendation for people – and relocate her to a sanctuary, where she can enjoy the rest of her life in a much more stress-free environment, with more room to walk and get regular exercise.

Please sign and share this petition urging the Kansas City Zoo to move Megan to a sanctuary.

Photo credit: Todd Wade/Flickr

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