ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – An elephant at the St. Louis Zoo is being treated for tuberculosis.
Donna, the 40-year-old-Asian Elephant, tested positive for the virus during a routine health screening, in which zoo veterinarians took a blood test and "trunk culture."
"Our established protocols have allowed us to detect this early and take steps to get Donna on the road to a full recovery without complications," said the Zoo's Director of Animal Health, Dr. Randy Junge. "Our elephant care team has a wonderful rapport with Donna and her herdmates, so she's a very cooperative patient."
The Missouri Department of Health, St. Louis Department of Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture have been informed about Donna's test results.
Zoo officials have developed a management and treatment plan for Donna.
The elephant is not showing any symptoms of tuberculosis, and is being treated with antibiotics in a non-public outdoor habitat.
Donna will remain with herdmates to minimize stress on herself and other elephants while under veterinary care.
The Zoo's veterinary staff will monitor Donna's progress through trunk cultures and blood tests during her prescribed year-long treatment. Throughout her care, all of the other elephants in her herd will continue to be monitored regularly and routinely for TB per established protocols.
Donna's condition does not pose an exposure risk to Zoo visitors.
Regular TB screening for staff is part of the Zoo's employee health program.
Donna was born in the wild and came to the Saint Louis Zoo in 1971.