Zoo’s orangutan recovering after surgery


Dehiwala Zoo’s 35 year old Orangutan Bulu has recently undergone a surgery for Hernia and now being recovering

The sedated Orangutan been scanned

says its veterinary surgeons.

On last April, animal keepers have observed that Bulu was not active and couldn’t walk properly. It was rolling in and out of its den with apparent pain. It was also not eating properly. Veterinary surgeons were alerted, but the medication done based on external observations did not solve the complications. So the veterinary surgeons had tranquil the animal in May to do a thorough body checkup.

The veterinary surgeons have taken the sedated Bulu to the animal hospital to do a scan. The full body check-up revealed the signs of Hernia and a lump on lower abdomen. Its blood sample was also collected for testing its cholesterol, blood sugar etc., which needs to be checked before doing a surgery.

After getting prepared, the team of veterinary surgeons has prepared for the surgery on 29th of June. But it was a risky job to anaesthetize the 35 year old Bulu. Orangutans’ lifespan in wild is recorded as 35 – 40 years, so Bulu was really an old primate reaching the last stretch of its life. Male Orangutans averagely weight 60kg, but overweight Bulu was 130kg increasing the risk. Dr.Jagath Jayasekare, the zoo veterinary who has anaesthetize Bulu said the male has a higher risk, as their windpipe tends to get block when they are in unconscious stage. Veteran veterinary surgeon Dr.S.Kodikara has volunteered to lead the team and Bulu’s Hernia has been removed after opening its abdomen. A 2kg fat lump found in its lower abdomen has also been removed during the two and half hour surgery.

Giving a sigh of relief to vets, Bulu has recovered after 2 hours of the surgery. However, post operative care too was a difficult task as the disoriented Orangutan may tend to renew its surgery wound. However, the patient has behaved well and to the joy of all who put their effort in saving Bulu, the old Orangutan has even started climbing shorter heights by the second day of the surgery. Bulu is now almost recovered and put back into its den in Dehiwala Zoo.

Dehiwala zoo has got Bulu from Rotterdam zoo in Nedarlands in early ‘80s. During anesthetized hours, Bulu also got its teeth brushed for the first time in his life as zoo vets had taken this opportunity to check the dental hydene of the old chap.


Team of vets during Orangutan surgeryBulu gets its teeth brushed for the first time


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