How Disney Helps the Gorillas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Stay Healthy

Gorillas hold a special place in the hearts of the team at Disney's Animal Kingdom. With World Gorilla Day on September 24th, Disney Parks Blog shared how their team is dedicated to keeping these gorillas healthy and safe, as well as some skills they have taught them.

What's Happening:

  • Gorillas have similarities to humans when it comes to their health.
  • As we age, we are both prone to some of the same things, like gum disease, arthritis, and cardiac disease. The difference is that gorillas can't talk to their doctors about how they're feeling and what's going on.
  • Routine wellness exams by veterinarians and clinical technicians are one of the main ways that these gorillas stay safe and healthy.

Maintaining Gorilla Health:

  • For Zawadi’s most recent exam included a computed tomography (CT) scan, which provides detailed images for our veterinarians to analyze and check for any abnormalities.
  • After that, he received a dental exam followed by a teeth cleaning. They also trim his fingernails and remove any grass that may have found its way into his nose.
  • He was then returned to the group with a clean bill of health.
  • Gino, the 41-year-old patriarch silverback is an example of the team’s dedication to lifelong care for gorillas.
  • Throughout his time at Disney, he was one of the first gorillas in the world to undergo cardiac ultrasounds without anesthesia.

  • This provided a more accurate reading of his heart health, which is crucial for gorillas since they are prone to cardiac disease.

Diet is Key:

  • All of the gorillas, from baby Ada to the large and powerful members of our bachelor troop, are on a careful diet.
  • It’s carefully curated by the Animal Nutrition Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park to encourage natural foraging behaviors that help keep their minds sharp and their bodies strong.

They Know How to Brush Their Teeth?

  • With good snacks come dental issues, and the way they have maintained good oral hygiene is through learning teeth brushing behaviors.
  • Gino and his keepers worked together to perfect the teeth brushing techniques, and these same techniques and behaviors were then taught to Zawadi and the other gorillas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to help ensure their teeth and gums stay healthy.

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