The ABQ BioPark reports that the Zoo’s eight-year-old elephant Jazmine has now tested positive for Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV). Jazmine’s brother Thorn died on Christmas Day from the disease.
The BioPark said Jazmine’s blood was frequently tested after Thorn received a positive test on December 15. The virus was detected in her blood on December 28. Animal care staff immediately started treating the disease with antiviral medication as well as plasma transfusions.
Zoo officials do not yet know how the virus is transmitted or if Jazmine and Thorn are carrying the same strain of the virus. Since each animal reacts differently to the virus, they don’t know how Jazmine will be affected. In 2015, Jazmine’s sister Daizy also contracted EEHV and died as a result. Elephants in the wild and in captivity can contract EEHV, but do not all die as a result.
The ABQ BioPark is getting support from veterinary consultants from other accredited zoos and from the National Elephant Herpesvirus Lab at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo located in Washington, D.C.