By NewsDesk @bactiman63

Officials at the ABQ BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico report the death of a second ape in just a week due to complications of Shigella infection.

Huerfanita Image/Twitter

Last week, the zoo lost Brian, a 32-year-old siamang. Last Friday, the 48-year-old female western lowland gorilla, Huerfanita died after contracting a Shigella infection.

According to ABQ BioPark Zoo: At 48 years old, Huerfanita was extraordinary. The median life expectancy for her species in AZA-accredited institutions is 39 years. Her advanced age likely made it harder for her body to handle the infection. After multiple rounds of treatments it became clear that she was not going to overcome the illness, and veterinary staff, zookeepers and BioPark leadership made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.

The Zoo recently announced that Shigella had quickly spread among the BioPark’s gorillas, orangutans and siamangs. Animal care staff have been treating all of the affected primates since discovering symptoms in Kojo, a male gorilla, on August 8. Kojo recovered soon after treatment and was feeling well enough to play in the outdoor yard this week along with his companions Samantha and Nia Lewa.

Most of the remaining apes are responding positively to their treatment, but the BioPark animal care team will remain guardedly optimistic until all other apes fully recover. Hasani, a 17-year-old male Western lowland gorilla is showing severe symptoms, and Johore, a female siamang, are both under close watch. Veterinarians report that Rue, Johore’s young male baby, is strong and clinging to mom.

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