Tuesday, December 15, 2009

N.C. Zoo Euthanizes Donna The Gorilla

donna gorillaDonna, a gorilla at the N.C. Zoo who had been battling cancer for 21/2 years, was euthanized Monday after a relapse. She was 42.

The effort to save Donna included a full hysterectomy performed in August 2008 by three women's health specialists from the Triangle: an oncologist at Duke University Medical Center and two doctors from the N.C. Center for Reproductive Medicine in Cary.

But cancerous tumors reappeared in Donna's abdomen and grew in recent months, said Mike Loomis, the zoo's chief veterinarian. Zoo veterinarians and staff determined Monday that the cancer was not treatable and that Donna's condition would only worsen.

Donna, a Western Lowland gorilla, was born in 1968 and came to North Carolina from a zoo in St. Paul, Minn., in 1990. According to the National Zoological Park in Washington, gorillas live to about 35 years old in the wild and up to 54 in zoos.

Full story here.

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