ST. LOUIS - The Saint Louis Zoo announced one of its elephants has tested positive for tuberculosis.
Ellie is a 46-year-old Asian elephant and has been at the zoo since 2001. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Missouri Department of Agriculture and local agencies have been notified of the test results. The Zoo says it is following appropriate management and treatment plans and Ellie does not pose an exposure risk to zoo visitors.
“Because the Saint Louis Zoo is dedicated to caring for animals, our established protocols have allowed us to detect this early and take necessary steps for Ellie,” said the Zoo’s Director of Animal Health, Dr. Luis Padilla. “Elephants with tuberculosis can be treated. Ellie has a professional and caring team devoted to her health and well-being, and together we are developing an individualized treatment plan for her.”
Saint Louis Zoo routinely and proactively tests all of its elephants for tuberculosis as part of its comprehensive health monitoring program. She was diagnosed through a combination of blood tests and a trunk culture.
The zoo says tuberculosis occurs occasionally in elephants and can be treated successfully. Ellie will be monitored by the elephant care team during her prescribed treatment.