ZSL vets save critically endangered gorilla

Vets at ZSL London Zoo have performed life-saving surgery on a 200lb Western lowland gorilla during a four hour operation.

Effie's surgery at ZSL London Zoo

When keepers noticed that 24-year-old Effie, mum to two-year-old Gernot, was off her food and spending increasing time away from the rest of her close-knit family, they called on the Zoo’s expert veterinary team for help. 

ZSL vet Amanda Guthrie said: “After a few days of refusing her favourite foods it was clear there was something really wrong with Effie, so we worked with her keepers to perform an ultrasound examination. Once we saw the problem we decided it was best to operate on her that day.”

After anaesthetising her, the team succeeded in removing eight inches of infected bowel, most likely caused by some trapped food in her digestive system. 

Effie is recovering well after the operation, which took place on 29 December 2017, and has now been reunited with her family in the Zoo’s Gorilla Kingdom

Amanda added: “We’re really pleased with how well Effie is recovering from her recent surgery. Her keepers and the ZSL vet team have been keeping a close eye on her and are happy to report that she’s back to her usual self, eating her favourite treats again and playing with Gernot.”

The amazing work of the zoo vets will be celebrated at ZSL London Zoo next month - from Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February kids will be able to step into the shoes of a wildlife vet at ZSL London Zoo as part of Vets in Action, the award-winning annual role-playing experience for budding veterinarians.

Find out more about Vets in Action

More news from ZSL

Meghan the okapi at ZSL London Zoo

Zookeepers have named the newest arrival at ZSL London Zoo Meghan, after Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée - in celebration of this year’s...

Snowdon Aviary at ZSL London Zoo

Conservation charity calls for support restoring iconic London landmark

Squirrel monkey with stocking at ZSL London Zoo

Lions, penguins, monkeys and donkeys enjoy festive treats at ZSL London Zoo