St. Louis Zoo Asian Elephant Diagnosed With Tuberculosis

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Ellie the elephant isn’t showing any symptoms, but the St. Louis Zoo resident is being treated for tuberculosis, the zoo announced Thursday.

Ellie is a 46-year-old Asian elephant. She is starting antibiotics and will be able to stay with her elephant family for support.

priya and ellie ray meibaum saint louis zoo 5 22 13 7168 sm e1510257666777 St. Louis Zoo Asian Elephant Diagnosed With Tuberculosis

Ellie and Priya (Ray Meibaum/Saint Louis Zoo)

Elephants sometimes get tuberculosis and can be treated successfully, according to the zoo, and she doesn’t pose an exposure risk to visitors.

“Because the St. Louis Zoo is dedicated to caring for animals, our established protocols have allowed us to detect this early and take necessary steps for Ellie,” the zoo’s director of animal health, Louis Padilla, said in a statement.

Ellie was diagnosed through routine blood tests and a trunk culture, and her care team will do more blood tests and trunk cultures as she’s treated. Other elephants in her family will also be monitored.

In 2011 and 2012, another elephant at the zoo, Donna, was diagnosed and successfully treated for tuberculosis.

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