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.

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


“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


Visit Hogle Zoo online at or for more information,
contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite by email at 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


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