Treating elephant TB a big chore for Oregon Zoo

By

Published:

Updated: August 15, 2013, 11:33 AM

 

PORTLAND — One Oregon Zoo elephant is balking at treatment for tuberculosis, and another is temporarily so uncooperative doctors aren’t trying to medicate him.

The zoo veterinarian started giving Rama and Packy medications about three weeks ago after the disease was detected in Rama and tests indicated it may be latent in Packy.

Rama began refusing the oral portion of his drugs on Saturday so keepers are mixing the powder in pudding and other treats.

Packy’s treatment was interrupted when he went into must, a sexually aggressive period, and he stopped cooperating.

The Oregonian reports the remedy will take a year and involves two treatments — drugs that are mixed with food and drugs administered rectally while the elephants are restrained.

TB can be fatal to the zoo elephants, but zoo visitors are not at risk of catching it from the animals.