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Hey, the Vets said Our Hearts
Good - Let's Dance!
BTW - who leads ??
with Zoo Atlanta
In early 2012, C. E. Steuart Dewar,
President & CEO of the Dewar Wildlife Trust, Inc., entered into an agreement with
Zoo Atlanta to explore the variety of possibilities presented by the
100-acre facility, nestled in the mountains of Morganton, GA.
The 100-acre, AZA-certified complex
comprises an 8.5 acre gorilla habitat; five night buildings; medical
facilities; maintenance and storage buildings; and a two-bedroom cottage
for keepers and visitors.
An immediate benefit of the Zoo Atlanta
partnership was the ability to provide housing from some of Zoo Atlanta's
bachelor gorillas. The facility's residents, Jasiri, 14 (left), and Willie
B. Jr., 14 (right), continue to enjoy their spacious new home. Both young
males are the equivalent of Zoo Atlanta royalty: Willie B. Jr. is the only
son of the legendary late Willie B., and Jasiri is the one of the sons of
beloved Zoo Patriarch Ozzie.
Click here for pictures of Willie Br. Jr. and
Gorillas and Cardiovascular Testing
Wildlife Trust's two gorilla residents, Jasiri (age 14) and Kidogo
(age 14) received their voluntary cardiac ultrasound exams
recently as part of their routine health care from Zoo Atlanta's
primate keeper Jodi Carrigan and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
volunteer sonographer Bobbie Boyd. While Jasiri and Kidogo are both
healthy gorillas, cardiac disease is the number one health issue
facing gorillas in captivity, and so monitoring for cardiovascular
disease has become a top priority for zoos and sanctuaries housing
great apes. Often, when an ape develops cardiac disease, they do not
show behavioral signs until the disease has progressed too far. In
the event that an ape develops heart disease, early detection is
critical in order for veterinarians to treat and prevent the
progression of the disease. Dewar Wildlife's iconic resident, Joe,
passed away this past July and chronic heart disease was a major,
contributing factor (although at 49, and, at the time, the second
oldest male in captivity, we think he did remarkably well, given his
ultrasounds are an excellent diagnostic tool for detecting heart
disease, but these exams used to only take place only during sedated
physical exams which happen once a year if not less frequently. For
this reason, it has been a significant advancement in veterinary
medicine and captive care management of great apes to be able to
perform awake cardiac exams through routine training exercises
between keepers and apes. As part of an initiative of the Great Ape
Heart Project at Zoo Atlanta (www.greatapeheartproject.org),
Zoo Atlanta has developed an awake ultrasound training program in
collaboration with volunteer sonographers from Children's Healthcare
of Atlanta (CHOA). Zoo Atlanta keepers use training techniques to
get the gorillas to present their chests to the mesh of their home
enclosures. This allows them to use an ultrasound probe to look at
their heart [PICTURE]. While the keeper works on positively
reinforcing this behavior, the sonographer views the heart images to
collect and calculate all the measurements needed for an evaluation
to be made. The Great Ape Heart Project recommends collecting awake
ultrasound measurements every six to nine months in order to monitor
an ape's heart health closely, so this was the first time since
their move to Dewar Wildlife, that Jasiri and Kidogo were due for
Click here for previous News
on Dewar Wildlife
Dr. Terry L. Maple
A Message from Dr. Terry L.
I’ve always admired the Dewar Wildlife Trust and their
devotion to helping gorillas and other wild creatures. During my seventeen years
as President/CEO of Zoo Atlanta I participated in an unprecedented period of
productivity in gorilla breeding. Today Zoo Atlanta has more gorillas than they
can successfully house on their campus. The availability of space at the Dewar
Wildlife Facility for two young adult gorillas is a wonderful opportunity for
both institutions. One of these gorillas is the only male heir of the great and
wonderful Willie B. Willie B. Jr. (Swahili name, “Kidogo”) is a wonderful
addition to the Dewar Wildlife population...
here to continue...