Calgary Zoo gorilla undergoes emergency surgery

Zuri, a lowland gorilla at the Calgary Zoo. Calgary Zoo

One of the Calgary Zoo’s lowland gorillas has undergone emergency surgery to treat a severe abdominal infection.

The zoo said its animal care team noticed subtle changes in Zuri’s appetite, behaviour and activity level last week.

On Friday, the 19-year-old female gorilla underwent initial testing and treatment, but Zuri’s response was poor that more advanced tests were carried out. That’s when staff discovered the infection.

“When you have a severe infection in your abdomen like she has, it is very worrisome and you know, she has made some small incremental improvements, but she still has a long way to go to recovery,” said Dr. Doug Whiteside, a senior veterinarian at the Calgary Zoo.

Whiteside said it’s not just zoo staff who are concerned.

“The gorilla troop is very worried about her, and they keep coming up to the window; kind of just checking in on her,” he said. “She is an integral part of the group, she is a mother here.”

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In the meantime, Zuri remains in critical condition.

The zoo said its animal care team will continue to closely monitor her condition.

Early last month Kioja gave birth to a baby gorilla at the Calgary Zoo.


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