Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gorilla Babec gets new pacemaker

Babec, the Birmingham Zoo's 27-year-old male Western Lowland gorilla, got a new pacemaker Saturday in a procedure that lasted three hours.

He was diagnosed with heart disease in 2003 and received a pacemaker in 2004 in a seven-hour procedure, making him the first successful zoo animal recipient of a pacemaker. A recent routine physical examination showed his pacemaker battery was nearing the end of its useful life.

"Babec is regarded as a hero here at the zoo for being a pioneer in medical advancement," said Dr. William Foster, CEO of the Birmingham Zoo.

The medical team members were Dr. E. Marie Rush, director of veterinary services at the zoo; Dr. Neal Kay, professor of cardiology at UAB; and Dr. Ray Dillion from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Katrina Cade, vice president for marketing for the Birmingham Zoo, said Babec will go back on exhibit Sunday.

Story here.

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