These boots are made for walking: DC elephant gets footwear

This frame grab image from video, provided by the Smithsonian's National Zoo, shows Shanthi, a 41-year-old Asian elephant, who was recently fitted with Washington’s largest pair of Teva boots for her front feet. Zoo curator Tony Barthel says Shanthi’s arthritis has caused her to lean forward on her front feet, stressing them. (Smithsonian's National Zoo via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) – An elephant at the National Zoo has received a large pair of shoes to help with her arthritis.

The Washington Post reports (http://wapo.st/2c5qFXc) that Shanthi, a 41-year-old Asian elephant, was recently fitted with Washington’s largest pair of Teva boots for her front feet. The boots are about a size 20, with an EEEEEEEEEEEE width.

Zoo curator Tony Barthel says Shanthi’s arthritis has caused her to lean forward on her front feet, stressing them. Zoo veterans treated the arthritis with injections and topical treatments, but needed a way to keep debris out of the fissures in her feet. That’s where the boots came in.

Digital scans of Shanthi’s feet were taken and sent to footwear company Teva, which created the boots.

Since receiving the footwear, keepers say the swelling in Shanthi’s left front foot has eased, and she is more mobile.

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