Providence, RI – Earlier this year, Roger Williams Park Zoo shared concerns about the health of one of its most popular animals, the female white cheeked gibbon, Gloria. Since the previous fall she had clearly begun to ail and her movements had become tentative and slow.
The Roger Williams Park Zoo Veterinary Department has pursued a significant and comprehensive testing program including multiple blood work tests, exams, a cerebral spinal tap, radiographs and multiple MRIs. This testing has ruled out certain disease processes but has not provided a definitive diagnosis of her condition.
The Zoo’s medical team has sought out knowledge and advice from several specialists, both human and veterinary, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Gibbon Species Survival Plan Veterinarian, and veterinarians at other institutions. Based on this research and evaluation, Gloria has been receiving medication which has improved her clinical symptoms; the therapy is being maintained in consultation with neurologists. In addition, modifications have been made in Gloria’s enclosure to make it easier for her to better utilize all of the space.
Gloria continues to explore her exhibit, participate in training sessions and interact with the male in her enclosure. She is maintaining her weight and seems to have a good quality of life. The Zoo’s veterinary doctors and staff, animal care staff and consulting doctors and veterinarians will continue to look for further opportunities to acquire a final diagnosis and, as her condition changes, explore opportunities to treat her to maintain the best quality of life possible for her.
Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest in the nation, is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction and is also a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. The Zoo has received numerous awards for environmental education, and conservation work done locally and around the world, caring for species that without human intervention would face certain extinction. Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the
Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.
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