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Zoo's Oldest Elephant Receiving Treatment in Springfield

CC Elephant

One of America’s oldest elephants currently resides at Springfield’s Dickerson Park Zoo, and right now she’s sick. Ol’ C.C., a 60-year-old female, has begun treatment to prevent the spread of a bacterial infection. KSMU’s Justin Lux paid a visit to the zoo and has the report.

The Dickerson Park Zoo’s oldest mammal is currently undergoing treatment to ensure the infection does not worsen.

Ol’ C.C., who has been part of the Dickerson Park family since 1954, shows no signs of illness as she goes about her daily routines. Dr. Erica Wilson is the zoo’s veterinarian. She says blood test results show the elephant has been exposed to a type of mycobacteria, but shows no signs of an active illness.

"Ol' C.C. right now is completely healthy and happy and has no idea that she is carrying a bacteria in her blood stream," says Wilson.

Wilson says the bacterial infection was contracted through air droplets that the elephant was exposed to.

She says Ol’ C.C. showed no signs of an infection during a routine test last February. However, she adds that it is possible the elephant obtained the bacteria years ago, but had no reaction to its side effects until recently.

Test results do show that the elephant’s body is producing antibodies to fight the bacteria. While the 60-year-old completes her nine month treatment of antibiotics she will remain off exhibit as the staff continues to monitor her liver function, blood levels and appetite.

For KSMU, I’m Justin Lux.

The 60-year-old female elephant, Ol’ C.C, at Dickerson Park Zoo. 
Photo courtesy of Dickerson Park Zoo.