Gorilla Tony Health Surveyolha.dovhopola
These days were nervous for all of us. But finally we can share the good news!
Our Tony, the only gorilla in Ukraine, has undergone a comprehensive examination and is feeling well, and we have reasons for optimism. Last month, Tony had a serious exacerbation of a chronic gastrointestinal disease. The situation was complicated by gorilla’s age. After all, 46 and a half years is already a very ripe old age for gorillas. During the first weeks, Kyiv Zoo veterinarians did their best to make Tony feel better. Then Tony’s condition was stabilized and he was prepared for a serious examination. To do this, our colleagues from Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research prepared an action plan and agreed it with curator of Gorilla Stud Book and EAZA apes experts. Marc Golkel, a veterinarian from Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, who had already performed a veterinary examination of Tony a few years ago, came to lead the process. Together with Kyiv Zoo specialists and experienced Ukrainian veterinarians, Tony was performed X-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, gastroscopy, and colonoscopy, checked the condition of the joints, and took a huge number of samples for analysis. The process was very smooth and fast. Tony endured the anesthesia well and even seems to have understood the process. Tony was not offended and immediately began to demand dinner when he woke up. Now the analysis of the results is conducted and we can make preliminary conclusions.
We did not find any visible critical changes or diagnoses that would endanger Tony’s life. At the same time, the examination showed many age-related changes and chronicles, which can be complicated at any time and lead to pain. Age could not be stopped, but we can try to slow down its effects. Veterinarians will develop a separate prevention and support program, taking into account new survey data for Tony to live the years allotted to him by nature, with a high quality of life. This is the welfare of animals, and is a priority of modern zoos.
We thank our European and Ukrainian colleagues, Kyiv state administration, KARS municipal service “Kyiv Rescue Service” and all the specialists whose professionalism and competent work made it possible to save the brightest personality of Kyiv Zoo.