Orangutan at Colchester Zoo dies

A FEMALE orangutan from Colchester Zoo has died, it was announced today.

A FEMALE orangutan from Colchester Zoo has died, it was announced today.

Djambe and her male companion, Rajang had moved to the new Orangutan Forest enclosure at the beginning of October and had both coped well with the relocation under anaesthetic.

However, during a medical examination at the time of the move an irregular shaped mass, possibly a tumour, was found on the right side of Djambe's abdomen.

A few days later Djambe developed what was thought to be a respiratory infection and under veterinary guidance was prescribed a course of antibiotics. This treatment programme was apparently successful and her condition appeared to improve.

When she was assessed by the zoo's veterinary team on October 24, it was agreed she had recovered from the respiratory infection and would be fit for a second anaesthesia to examine the mass in her abdomen.

This was planned to take place in two weeks time involving a full anaesthesia ultrasonography to scan the abdominal mass and if it was considered the right course of action, a biopsy of the mass.

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However on Saturday afternoon Djambe was found dead.

Anthony Tropeano, zoological director, said: “There is always a concern when an animal has to be anaesthetized and we were delighted that both Rajang and Djambe coped so well with this. We are obviously devastated by this turn of events.”

It is not possible at this stage, to know if the mass in her abdomen was the cause of her death and a post mortem will take place in the next few days to determine this.

Djambe was born in Stuttgart Zoo in July 1978 and came to Colchester Zoo in 1998.