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Zoo Miami Chimpanzees Receive Exams

Zoo Miami's four chimpanzees were immobilized this week to undergo a variety of examinations that included dental exams performed by human dentists, Dr. Adrian Correa and Dr. Richard Souviron from Dental Leaders, echocardiograms performed by veterinary cardiologist Dr. Dewey Carpenter, bronchoscopies performed by human pulmonologist Dr. Greg Holt from the University of Miami, anesthesia supervised by Dr. Sathya Chinnadurai, veterinary anesthesiologist from the Brookfield Zoo, and uterine exams performed by human OBGYN, Dr. Karen Salazar Valdes. Zoo Miami Associate veterinarians, Dr. Jimmy Johnson, Dr. Marisa Bezjian, and Dr. Gabrielle Flacke, oversaw all procedures.
The good news is that the results of the exams done on Niger, the 28 year old alpha male, did not indicate abnormalities that raised any major concerns and he has recovered well and was already back on exhibit this morning.  The two females, 53 year old Bubbles and 50 year old Samantha, received OB exams and fortunately a growth that was found in the uterus of Samantha was benign. However, both females, most likely due to their advanced age, experienced some difficulty recovering from their anesthesia.  Of the two, Samantha gave us the biggest scare when she would not wake up for several hours.  However, after a variety of treatments were administered to help her awaken, Samantha opened her eyes in the evening and slowly, but surely began to show movement.  This afternoon, she is back on her feet and both her and Bubbles appear to be well on their way to making a full recovery!
The news in not so good for Hondo.  The cardiac exams confirmed that he is suffering from advanced heart disease that has resulted in a variety of life-threatening issues and has most probably reduced his life expectancy to less than a year.  In addition, he was found to have a large blood clot that has the potential of breaking off with what most likely would be fatal results.
The veterinary team is working closely with the Great Ape Heart Project based in Atlanta to provide the best possible care and treatments for Hondo who will be on a regimen of medications in an effort to give him the best quality of life possible for the time he has left.  Unfortunately, just like in human beings, heart disease is not uncommon an adult male great apes.

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