The 46-year-old Asian elephant, Ellie, has been diagnosed with tuberculosis. She is following an antibiotics treatment and the officials from St. Louis Zoo have stated that she will be fine.
A female Asian elephant lives an average of 46.9 years, so Ellie is quite old, but she is in good health – apart for having tuberculosis.
Ellie Has Been Diagnosed Positive for Tuberculosis
The veterinarians have tested Ellie for tuberculosis and it came out positive. Federal and state agencies have been informed about her health issue and the fact that she is under treatment. They have also informed everyone that she will not pose health risks to zoo visitors.
The Director of Animal Health from St. Louis Zoo, Luis Padilla, said that they have detected the tuberculosis in its early stage because they are dedicated to care for their animals and their protocols are strict. He added that the disease is treatable in Ellie’s case and that she is being taken care of by a professional team that will monitor her health. They will all see for an individualized treatment plan to be developed especially for her.
Routine TB Screens Keep the Animals from St. Louis Zoo
The St. Louis Zoo has routine screens for tuberculosis, as this disease is common in elephants and can be effectively treated. In 2011, Donna was also an elephant that had tuberculosis and has been successfully treated.
According to the Zoo’s spokesperson, we know that, although Ellie doesn’t show any symptoms, she is under veterinary care and spends time with her family to ‘maintain social support’ and get better.
Ellie is a member of the St. Louis Zoo since 2001. Other Asian elephants like her live in the wild, but unfortunately, there are only a few of them left – 35,000, because of deforestation and poaching.