Elephant at St. Louis Zoo tests positive for tuberculosis | St. Louis Public Radio

Elephant at St. Louis Zoo tests positive for tuberculosis

Apr 11, 2011

A 40-year old Asian elephant at the St. Louis Zoo named "Donna" has tested positive for tuberculosis, but is expected to be just fine.

Donna the Elephant came to the St. Louis zoo as a 3-year old juvenile in 1971.

All elephants get complete medical evaluation each year including blood collection, vaccinations and trunk cultures to look for tuberculosis.

Randy Junge, the Zoo's Director of Animal Health said the 40-year-old pachyderm will live off-display for the next year, but won't be quarantined.

"She'll remain with her herd mates because they are social animals and keeping her in isolation would not be appropriate," Junge said.

Junge also said TB is not unheard of in elephants and Donna's case was detected early.

"So by identifying the infection early and treating with the appropriate antibiotics we feel that there's no reason Donna won't make a complete recovery."

No other elephants or staff at the zoo have tested positive for TB.