The Buffalo Zoo is sad to announce Jothi, one of its two Asian elephants, is ill.
Nearly 18 months ago, she was diagnosed with a neurologic disease that has been confirmed to be chronic. In Jothi's case, this condition is characterized by periodic hemi-seizures, which affect half of her body. The elephants may be off exhibit temporarily while she is being cared for.
Dr. Kurt Volle, the zoo's resident veterinarian, has been treating Jothi with a phenobarbital therapy that has been able to control the seizure disorder for the most part, and provide relief for the 33-year-old animal. The treatment strategies have been developed following regular contact and consultation with Dr. Ellen Weidner, an elephant specialist and a veterinary medicine internist from the University of Florida.
"Every treatment has been given, and every precaution has been taken to ensure that Jothi has the very best quality of life we can provide," said Donna Fernandes, zoo president and CEO. "We have been monitoring her condition on a regular basis and have been pleased that we have been able to ease her symptoms. I ask the public's patience as we continue to treat her ailment."
Jothi came to the Buffalo Zoo in 1987 from a logging camp in Madras, India, where she was born in 1981.