On Thursday, April 25 at Stone Zoo, we will be conducting a routine animal escape drill. These drills are an important part of our preparedness training. While the drill is occurring, guests will be asked to move to certain areas within the Zoo for a brief period of time (not to exceed 10 minutes). We will do our best to have minimal impact on the guest experience. We are very dedicated to safety and we appreciate your participation. If you have any questions about what to expect, please do not hesitate to contact us at 617-989-2000 or info@zoonewengland.org.

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Gorillas to undergo general physical examinations

Kiki, a western lowland gorilla, as well as her youngest offspring Azize will be put under anesthesia tomorrow at Franklin Park Zoo so the zoo’s veterinary staff can examine both of them. Due to the scheduled exams, Okie will be the only gorilla on exhibit on Friday, June 10 within the Tropical Forest.

Kiki’s routine examination will include a general physical examination, blood work and a cardiac exam. The results received from the cardiac exam will go into a national database to assist in diagnosing cardiac disease in other gorillas. Azize, who was born on May 14, 2015, will receive a full examination.

While the examinations are considered routine preventative care, whenever anesthesia is administered there is always a risk to the animals and people involved in the procedure.

“Gorillas are wild animals and as such, pre-anesthetic evaluations as extensive as those that would routinely be done on people and domestic animals, are not possible,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Director of Veterinary Services. “Any animal immobilization involving general anesthesia always carries some risk. We never enter into these procedures lightly and every possible effort is made to keep the animal, as well as the people involved in the procedure, safe and healthy.”

A veterinary cardiologist, a veterinary anesthesiologist as well as other specialists will be on hand to assist during the exams.