facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Phoenix orangutan diagnosed with cancer

June 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM   |   Comments

PHOENIX, June 20 (UPI) -- Duchess, a 52-year-old orangutan at the Phoenix Zoo, could have only weeks left to live after being diagnosed with cancer, zoo officials said.

The primate's keepers noticed she had a decreased appetite and was growing lethargic, prompting a medical exam and ultrasound last week.

Medical staff found a mass in her abdomen and enlarged lymph nodes, leading to a diagnosis of lymphosarcoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, The Arizona Republic of Phoenix reported Tuesday.

Gary West, executive vice president in charge of animal health at the zoo, said Duchess' cancer is "fairly aggressive."

"We don't think it's a long-term course," he said of her treatment.

West said the zoo could give Duchess chemotherapy treatment, but she would have to be a willing participant in her care.

"We obviously can't force her to take medicine," West said.

Duchess has been at the Phoenix Zoo since 1962, making her the oldest living Bornean orangutan in North America, the newspaper reported.

The average lifespan of an orangutan living in captivity is 40-plus years, the newspaper reported.

"I take solace in the fact she's 52 and not 25," said Denise Wagner a senior zookeeper said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
The FBI announces completion of facial recognition program The FBI announces completion of facial recognition program
2
Identical twin linked to 2004 rapes by new DNA test Identical twin linked to 2004 rapes by new DNA test
3
U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks
4
New York state may legalize recreational marijuana by next year New York state may legalize recreational marijuana by next year
5
Man suspected of killing woman sets himself on fire on Ohio highway Man suspected of killing woman sets himself on fire on Ohio highway
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback