Saranac veterinarian saves the day for three elephants

It was around noon on Monday Feb. 26 when she received a phone call from the federal United States Department of Agriculture with an unusual request: Would she be willing to perform a health examination on three elephants? Several veterinarians had already been called and declined. The three elephants, en route to the Toronto area, were already at the border in Champlain with a Canadian veterinarian waiting on the other side. Unfortunately, they were missing the health examination forms they were required to submit state side. Now, they were desperately in need of a veterinarian who possessed the large animal health forms and would be willing to perform the examination. Dr. McCormick explained that she was not really a large animal veterinarian, and did not have the health forms, but if they faxed her the forms, she would be willing to perform the examination. It actually ended up being a bit of a community project to help the elephants. Dr. McCormick did not have her own fax machine, but Tony and Kim Windover at Windovers Home Center gladly lent the use of theirs. The Saranac Fire Department made part of their parking lot available, and the elephants headed south to be inspected at the Saranac Firehouse. There were also Dr. McCormicks clients, who patiently agreed to wait an hour longer so the elephants could be happily on their way to their new home. Before beginning the inspection, Dr. McCormick asked the driver if it was safe to climb right in the trailer with the elephants. Yes and No, was his reply. The elephants were calm, gentle, and well trained, explained Dr. McCormick. But animals of that size can seriously injure someone without meaning to. The elephants ranged in age from 35 to 59 and were trained to do tricks and provide rides. They were obviously well cared for, Dr. McCormick commented. They were very curious and their trunks kept coming over and touching me. It was as if their trunks had eyes. Dr. McCormicks staff from the Saranac Veterinary Clinic took turns coming down to the Fire House to view the elephants. Everybody was excited. It was special and it made the whole week. It is always nice to be able to help out in a situation and make things work, Dr. McCormick said. No doubt, the elephants thought it was nice too!

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