Gorilla has jaw surgery in 'human hospital' after fight at zoo

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Gorilla has jaw surgery in 'human hospital' after fight at zooStock photo: PA


Imagine coming round from an anaesthetic to find a gorilla in the bed next door to you...

OK, that didn't actually happen, but a gorilla from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoowas admitted to the Nebraska Medical Centre this weekend to have treatment on a fractured jaw following a fight with a fellow gorilla.

The zoo did not have the facilities to perform the scan, so it contacted the hospital who had helped with animal injuries in the past.

Director of animal health at the zoo, Doug Armstrong, said Motuba was one of four silverbacks who socialise together, and that he got into a fight with a younger gorilla, who fractured his jaw and pushed three of his teeth out of shape while trying to assert himself into a more prominent role in the group.

He told kyivpost.com: "It wasn't life threatening but we knew we had to address it. It's just the nature of male gorillas that you have conflicts."

Doctors at the hospital removed a piece of Motuba's jaw as well as the three wonky teeth.

Hospital spokesman Paul Baites said the gorilla was kept separate from human patients and that the medical centre's infection-control department were on-hand to ensure there was no contamination.

Motuba will now be on a soft diet for a week, and will be kept off display until staff at the zoo successfully reintegrate him with his peers.

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