BELOVED HOGLE ZOO GORILLA DIES AFTER FIGHT WITH AGGRESSIVE CANCER
Posted On Tuesday, March 24, 2009
(Salt Lake City, UT) – Utah’s Hogle Zoo is saddened to announce that Muke, their beloved female Western Lowland gorilla, has died after a yearlong fight with cancer in her reproductive tract. Within the last week, it became obvious Muke’s quality of life was drastically diminishing and Zoo staff collectively made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her Monday afternoon.
Hogle Zoo animal care staff began watching Muke extremely closely after she showed symptoms connected with reproductive tract issues. These symptoms are similar to what human females exhibit in connection with uterine cancer. In 2008, Zoo veterinarians (along with local oncologists) operated on Muke to determine the extent of the cancer throughout her reproductive organs. At the time of surgery last spring, officials felt they were successful in removing enough cancer to extend Muke’s life, however Muke’s cancer was too far advanced for any remission.
“All of our animals are very important to us and Muke is no exception. After her surgery last year, she improved to the point that keepers described her as being like a teenager again,” said Hogle Zoo’s Dr. Nancy Carpenter, Associate Director—Animal Health. “Still, we all knew that the day would come that the cancer would return and that day was a few weeks ago. The necropsy (animal autopsy) confirmed the diagnosis that the cancer had spread.” Dr. Carpenter adds, “It is always hard to lose such special animals.”
Muke was born in 1965, and has lived at Utah’s Hogle Zoo for thirteen years—since 1996, and was dearly loved and well known to not only Zoo members, but also the community. The efforts of those who have worked so closely with Muke and who bravely helped her through the last days of her life are greatly appreciated. A memory book where Hogle Zoo visitors and staff can share thoughts and stories about Muke will be available in the Great Ape Building in the lobby near the gorilla exhibit.
Visit Hogle Zoo online at www.hoglezoo.org or for more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (801) 584-1729.
About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums:
Utah’s Hogle Zoo is one of only 218 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit www.aza.org.
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