A female western lowland gorilla was found dead April 25 in an off-exhibit holding area inthe Kingdom of the Apes, according to a Toledo Zoo news release. A necropsy completed April 25 by the Zoo’s veterinary staff indicated liver involvement but did not provide a definitive cause of death. Samples will be sent for histopathology.
On April 22, afternoon keepers observed that the 22-year-old gorilla, Shani, was moving slowly and had a decreased appetite. When she did not respond to treatment she was immobilized April 24 in an attempt to determine the cause of her ailment.
According to Dr Chris Hanley, Associate Veterinarian,”a full diagnosticexam revealed severe jaundice, anemia and low blood glucose. Animal care staff provided treatment and supportive care. Friday evening Shani was recovering from anesthesia and was lethargic but alert.”
Dr. Anne Baker, Executive Director, said that “The Toledo Zoo’s staff is to be commended for their commitment to animal care. As is the case with all wild animals, gorillas have evolved to mask signs of disease. This means that they show few, if any, symptoms until disease is quite far progressed. It’s not like humans who can tell you immediately if they’re not feeling well, and describe their symptoms. Keepers have to be very good at reading the animals they care for, and picking up on subtle signs that something is not quite right. And all too often once those signs appear it’s too late.”