Zoo’s orangutan recovering after surgery

By Malaka Rodrigo

Bulu, a 35-year-old orangutan at the Dehiwala Zoo, is recuperating after surgery for hernia. In April, zoo staff noticed that Bulu was less than his usual active self. He was walking awkwardly, had lost his appetite, and would roll around in his den in obvious discomfort. A medical check-up revealed that Bulu had a hernia problem.

On June 29, a team of veterinary surgeons, led by Dr. S. Kodikara, operated on Bulu. They attended to the hernia and removed a 2kg lump of fat in the animal’s lower abdomen. The operation took two-and-a-half hours. While Bulu was under sedation, the vets took the opportunity to brush his teeth. It was possibly the first time he had ever had his teeth cleaned.

Bulu is back in his den at the zoo, and is almost fully recovered. Bulu arrived in Sri Lanka in the early ’80s as a gift from a zoo in the Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

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