The El Paso Zoo shared some sad news about Juno, the 49 year old Asian elephant beloved by generations of El Paso kids. Juno has a malignant mass in her right mammary gland that appears malignant. The Zoo says that means "the cells in the mass are exhibiting cancerous characteristics."

Cancer is rare in elephants, and the Zoo's veterinarian says that there is no record of a malignant mammary gland tumor ever reported in all of veterinary literature. That is a problem because that means there is no set way to treat the cancer, and no way of knowing how it will progress. To make things even tougher, the Zoo can't use ultrasounds or x-rays to keep an eye on the spread of the cancer because of Juno's size.

The Zoo is trying to figure out ways to treat Juno even while they face problems like the high risks of anesthesia and surgery in older elephants, and how difficult it is for elephants to heal from surgeries.

Because of all the issues, the Zoo says they will be conservative in Juno's treatment and are consulting experts in the veterinary field. Right now, none of those experts are suggesting surgery to remove the mass.

Juno has lived longer than her life expectancy, and we here at KISS FM are hoping that no matter what course of action the Zoo takes for her treatment that she is comfortable and not in any pain.

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