Massage is being used to alleviate the physical and emotional stress of exotic animals in captivity, from elephants to dolphins and penguins.
Exotic Animal Massage
Soft sighs, satisfied snorts and even brief hints of a relaxed snore fill the small therapy room this Saturday morning. These are satisfied massage clients who know all too well the value of being touched, even if they can’t tell us so in words. They do tell us with behavior. Suki doesn’t tense up anymore when he’s massaged. Robby doesn’t bury his head in fear. And Cocoa no longer kicks and fidgets during the session.
Even though he’s received thousands of massages over the past decade, Nicholas is still a bit stiff. Albeit the horse’s body is clearly marked with locations of pressure points to help students learn equine massage, he’s the only one of 16 horses at Equissage they haven’t been able to loosen up. “We can’t get him to relax,” said owner and director Mary Schreiber. Of course, that’s probably because Nicholas is a life-size fiberglass horse used as a teaching aid.