Healthcare Blog

Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Center For Elephant Conservation(R) Announces Second Test Positive For Tuberculosis In Male Elephant

May 18, 2017

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey(R) today announced that a second male elephant has tested positive and is being treated for tuberculosis (TB) at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation(R). While all other elephants at the Ringling Bros. Center and on our traveling circus units have tested negative for TB, the State of Florida, following USDA guidelines, has issued a quarantine notice for the remaining elephants at the Ringling Bros. Center, with the exception of elephants not housed near the others. Additionally, in accordance with USDA policy, three healthy female elephants from Ringling Bros.(R) circus units that were briefly housed near one of the males this past winter are returning to the Ringling Bros. Center where they will be monitored by animal care staff. The three returning elephants, along with the rest of the Ringling Bros. herd and animal care staff, have all tested negative for tuberculosis and are healthy.

Ringling Bros. notified state and federal agencies at the end of May of a positive TB test result that had been confirmed in one of its male elephants during an annual screening at the Ringling Bros. Center. Recently, as part of a follow-up screening, Ringling Bros. notified state and federal officials of an initial positive TB test result in a second elephant housed at the Ringling Bros. Center.

As with humans who contract TB, elephants can be successfully treated and lead healthy and active lives. "Both elephants are symptom-free and are already undergoing the prescribed treatment," said Dr. Dennis Schmitt, Chair of Veterinary Services and Research for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. "The rest of the herd that tested negative at the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation will continue to be monitored closely by our veterinarians." In the meantime, Ringling Bros. will continue to work with the USDA and the State of Florida to minimize any risk of transmission by and ensure proper treatment of the two affected elephants.

"Ringling Bros. is dedicated to doing everything it can to help further the understanding of TB in elephants and to ensuring the health of the entire North American population," stated Bruce Read, Vice President of Animal Stewardship for Ringling Bros. As part of its animal stewardship program, Ringling Bros. intends to commit both resources and elephant husbandry expertise to support research on the diagnosis and treatment of TB in elephants.

About the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation:

The Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation was founded by Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey(R), to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience the now-endangered Asian elephant. Built in 1995, this 200-acre, state-of-the-art facility was designed for the reproduction, research and retirement of the Asian elephant, enabling Ringling Bros. to share its elephant husbandry knowledge with the veterinary and conservation communities worldwide. For more information about the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation visit elephantcenter.

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