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Tuberculosis Found in Death Examination of Little Rock Zoo Elephant

LITTLE ROCK, AR-- The 62-year-old elephant was euthanized on September 8 after being found struggling to stand up.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - An elephant that died at the Little Rock Zoo last month had tuberculosis. That's according to an official with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).

Susan Weinstein, the ADH Public Health Veterinarian says a necropsy on the body of Jewell tested positive for the lung ailment.

The 62-year-old elephant was euthanized on September 8 after being found struggling to stand up.

Jewell was donated to the zoo in 2011 by the Ringling Brothers Center for Elephant Conservation where she had been living since her retirement from the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus.

The zoo’s other elephant, Zina, was also donated to the Zoo by Ringling Brothers and is doing well, according to Zoo staff.

A week after Jewell's death, the international animal protection organization In Defense of Animals (IDA), urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate Jewell's death to ensure that the surviving elephant, Zina, receives vigilant monitoring due to ill health.

In announcing the death of Jewell, the zoo said that Zina, who was also donated to the Zoo by Ringling Brothers, was doing well.

Weinstein says zoo workers will be tested for tuberculosis but there is no danger of contamination for visitors to the elephant exhibit because they are kept far enough away from the animals.
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