Experts at Warsaw Zoo to verify effect of CBD oils on elephant mood
The Warsaw Zoo is one of the first to introduce cannabidiol as an experimental treatment on its elephants. Animals at the zoo will be given cannabis extract as part of a program to see if it can reduce anxiety. The first to receive the experimental treatment are the elephants.
The study aims to assess the impact of cannabidiol oil (CBD), the active substance of which is a chemical derived from the cannabis plant - on the mood of different animals. Elephants were chosen as the first subjects because they are prone to stress but also easy to watch.
"We know what each of our elephants eats, how they behave, if they have any behavioral problems, what their position is in the group," says Agnieszka Czujkowska, veterinarian and head of the animal rehabilitation department at the zoo. , quoted by Polsat News.
"We can check their current state of health by examining their blood," she continues. "If the results are good, we hope to be able to introduce other animals to hemp".
The elephants at the Warsaw Zoo recently found themselves in a difficult situation, reports Gazeta Wyborcza. In March of this year, Erna, 35, the tallest and oldest female, died. This created stress and tension for his two young companions, Fredzia and Buba.
"After the loss of the herd leader, Fredzia and Buba go through a very difficult period linked to the establishment of a new hierarchy, which is all the more difficult as they only form a group of two", explains Patryk Pyciński, the zoo's mammal keeper.
“The females are very close to each other and now have to flourish, which creates a lot of stress,” he added. “It can take months or even years for elephants to cope with such a dramatic change. We try to help them regain their psychophysical balance ”.
Although derived from cannabis, CBD oil does not cause intoxication or "high". It is considered by some to be a natural remedy for certain ailments, especially as a means of regulating mood. In addition to being used on humans, some pet owners tout the benefits of administering the product to cats and dogs.
Małgorzata Fabiańska, a veterinary technician from DobreKonopie.pl, claims to have used it successfully on horses, telling Gazeta Wyborcza that it has helped reduce pain and swelling while alleviating symptoms of anxiety.
His company and the Warsaw Zoo claim this is the first known case of using CBD on elephants. The oil will be added to the animals' food, but zookeepers will also try to administer the substance directly into their mouths, so that it is better absorbed.
“It all depends on their taste and smell,” explains Czujkowska. So far, no “complaints” have been made during the tests we have carried out ”.
The first elephant to receive the experimental treatment was Fredzia, who showed signs of stress after Erna's death. Andrzej Grzegorz Kruszewicz, director of the Warsaw Zoo, told Polsat anxiety in elephants is a common problem
“Stress in elephants is a very popular topic,” he said. "There are a lot of studies being done in this area, but we haven't found a description of a similar project yet, so we're happy to be able to implement it."
If the experiment is successful, other animals in the zoo will also receive the CBD oil. Among the next are rhinos and bears, spokeswoman Anna Karczewska told Gazeta Wyborcza.