Young orangutan prepares for cancer treatment

Primate preparing to undergo treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Published On: Jul 19 2012 09:58:11 PM EDT
Jungle Island
MIAMI -

Officials at a South Florida animal attraction say one of their young orangutans has cancer.

Jungle Island reports that Peanut, an 8-year-old female, is preparing to undergo treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The cancer was discovered following a recent abdominal surgery to remove what was thought to be a simple obstruction. Jungle Island is seeking help from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Division of Comparative Pathology, which specializes in wildlife.

A team of experts from multiple disciplines is developing a treatment program. Because orangutans share 96 percent of their DNA with humans, Jungle Island says Peanut's treatment will likely be more similar to what a human would receive, rather than another animal.

Jungle Island officials are also concerned about the effect of Peanut's illness on her fraternal twin sister, Pumpkin.