Ailing elephant at St. Louis Zoo shows signs of improvement

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | 10:41 a.m. CST; updated 11:32 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Zoo officials say an ailing elephant is showing signs of improving from a herpes infection.

The nearly 2-year-old Asian pachyderm named Jade fell ill last week with a type of herpes that hits only elephants and seems to target the young. It can cause extensive bleeding.

Jade has been placed on anti-viral medication.

The zoo's curator of mammals, Martha Fischer, is hopeful for Jade's return to good health. But she reminds those concerned that "because things can change so quickly, her prognosis is still guarded."

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