No way to put this delicately: The bad news arrived in a glob of snot.

In their effort to track and treat elephantsRama and Packy for tuberculosis, an Oregon Zoo¬†veterinary crew and keepers late last year took a trunk-wash specimen from Packy. That required pouring saline into his trunk. When he exhaled, the crew collected the saline and mucus he expelled, planning to culture it. Packy’s previous trunk washes never tested positive for TB, though a blood test last summer indicated he had a latent case.