Perth Zoo Orangutan goes to Murdoch University

November 22, 2016

Pulang the Orangutan had a CT scan at the Animal HospitalPulang, a female Sumatran Orangutan from Perth Zoo underwent a CT scan last week at The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University (TAHMU) to investigate a nasal issue.

With orangutans sharing 97% of the same DNA as us, Pulang is the closest to a human that has been through the machine.

Perth Zoo Veterinarian, Dr Katja Geschke said: “Recently Pulang had been experiencing a bit of bleeding and discharge from her right nostril.”

“Initially we enlisted the expertise of a paediatric ENT specialist who came to Perth Zoo and did a preliminary diagnoses of Pulang before she was taken to TAHMU for a more thorough look.

“Using the high-tech diagnostic scanner we got 360 degree x-rays of Pulang’s head, nose and her overall body.”

“We now have a very clear picture of a lump inside her nose which is thought to be a fungal infection, so we’ll be making a treatment plan. Otherwise she’s in very good health,” said Dr Geschke.

The CT scanner is only one of three of its kind in Western Australia and is capable of accommodating animals as large as horses and smaller animals. The Zoo was thankful to be able to collaborate with TAHMU, continuing the exemplary health care provided to the animals at Perth Zoo.

Dr Jennifer Richardson from TAHMU said: “Pulang isn’t our average patient. It was extraordinary seeing how similar the anatomy was to a human, although she is much more muscular than most females her age. It was a privilege to assist a critically endangered animal and help the Zoo team get a clearer picture of her nose problem.’

After the procedure, Pulang was moved to a crate and recovered from the anaesthetic under the watchful eyes of the Zoo’s veterinary team and her dedicated keepers before being transported back to Perth Zoo.

It didn’t take long before Pulang was back at the world famous Sumatran Orangutan colony and reunited with her daughter Lestari.

There are currently 10 Sumatran Orangutans at Perth Zoo. 23 year-old Pulang is the daughter of Puan who at 60 years-old was recently declared the oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the world thanks to the extraordinary care she receives at Perth Zoo. Perth Zoo’s outstanding treatment of threatened animals will be enhanced by the Open Range Zoo at Chittering. An open range zoo will complement Perth Zoo’s existing work as a modern conservation-focussed zoo extending its expertise in threatened animal species’ conservation.

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Media contact: Pepita Smyth
Tel: (08) 9360 1289  |  Mobile: 0417 171 551  |  Email: p.smyth@murdoch.edu.au
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