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Pregnant orangutan dies during emergency procedure at Zoo Miami

Tests show full-term fetus had no signs of life, zoo officials say

Courtesy: Zoo Miami
Courtesy: Zoo Miami

MIAMI – A 31-year-old pregnant orangutan died Thursday night after an emergency procedure to remove her full-term fetus that showed no signs of life, Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill said in a news release.

Magill said the orangutan named Bonnie, showed signs of distress Thursday afternoon and was immobilized and brought to the zoo hospital for emergency tests and treatment.

According to Magill, tests confirmed the presence of a full-term fetus that showed no signs of life, and veterinarians had to do an emergency procedure to remove the fetus to prevent further distress and infection to Bonnie, who was already in critical condition.

The fetus was successfully removed from Bonnie, but she died within hours of the procedure, Magill said.

Bonnie was born Jan. 26, 1985, at the Audubon Zoo, in New Orleans.

She arrived at Zoo Miami on May 8, 2009.

Magill said orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling mammals in the world. Males often weigh more than 200 pounds and have an arm span close to 8 feet.

The orangutan, which means "man of the forest," is found in Indonesia and is critically endangered because of poaching and deforestation for palm oil plantations.

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