Elephant known for painting gets a new shoe

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Gita’s new wardrobe addition is 53 inches around, 19 inches in diameter, and is composed mostly of half-inch-thick brown leather. A wide nylon strap will secure the shoe at her ankle. Lua, owner of Novis Orthopedic Shoes on Colorado Boulevard, spent about 12 hours working on the $450 shoe. “It’s different in that the base of the elephant foot is much larger than the ankle. I needed to cinch (the shoe) up near the ankle … to get around the bottom of the foot,’ he said. The shoe was modeled only from pictures and measurements of the elephant’s foot Lua received from the zoo. He first built a cardboard template and then started on the shoe itself. Gita tried on the shoe Saturday, and Lua picked it up Sunday to do some final touches. Lua was up until midnight last Thursday designing the shoe. Since it was needed immediately to help prevent infection, he was given only two days. Gita is still under daily veterinary care, though a zoo official reports she is doing “extremely well.’ Gita, at the L.A. Zoo since 1959, has made the news before. She and longtime companion Ruby, an African elephant, were the center of a flurry of lawsuits in 2003 filed to stop Ruby’s being moved to a zoo in Knoxville, Tenn. And Gita has also starred as an artist painter Charles Bragg has collaborated with Gita and other L.A. Zoo elephants for fund-raisers, giving them a canvas and paint brushes they hold in their trunks and auctioning off the results. @tagline columnist:Correspondent Zach Fox contributed to this story. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PASADENA — Shoe size: Quite large. Width: Oh, about EEEEEEEEE. Fitting: Personal. Client cannot make it inside the store. Specialist shoemaker Cesar Lua takes most orders in stride. But Lua admits he first thought it was a prank when he was asked to make an orthopedic shoe for a Los Angeles Zoo elephant who ha s just had surgery to remove what amounts to a mammoth bunion. “They called asking if I could do an orthopedic shoe for an elephant, and I said, `Sure, I can do it,’ thinking it was a joke,’ Lua said. “And then later I thought, `If I can do human shoes, I could do an elephant shoe.’ ‘ The special shoe, which will have its final fitting today, is for the zoo’s 47-year-old Asian elephant, Gita, who had portions of a small, non-weight- bearing toe removed from her left front foot about two weeks ago. She needs the shoe to prevent infection as the wound heals, a zoo official said. last_img