Heart disease decimating zoo gorillas

Mar 16, 2008

U.S. researchers are trying to understand why so many gorillas in North American zoos are dying of heart disease.

The most recent victim was Sunshine, a 34-year-old western lowland gorilla, who died Tuesday in the Detroit Zoo after suffering from heart disease for several years.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in captive gorillas, the zoo said in a release. More than 40 percent of adult gorilla deaths are due to heart disease, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Scientists said they don't know why gorillas contract the disease at such a high rate. Possibilities include diet, disease, old age or some other unknown cause.

Veterinarian Suzan Murray said heart disease in gorillas is different from heart disease in humans. Gorillas develop a hardening of the heart muscle, called fibrosing cardiomyopathy, that has few symptoms, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers identify new mechanism to aid cells under stress

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obama recommends extended wilderness zone in Alaska

20 hours ago

US President Barack Obama said Sunday he would recommend a large swath of Alaska be designated as wilderness, the highest level of federal protection, in a move likely to anger oil proponents.

NASA craft set to beam home close-ups of Pluto

20 hours ago

Nine years after leaving Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft is at last drawing close to Pluto and on Sunday was expected to start shooting photographs of the dwarf planet.

Recommended for you

Researchers identify new mechanism to aid cells under stress

1 hour ago

A team of biologists from NYU and Harvard has identified new details in a cellular mechanism that serves as a defense against stress. The findings potentially offer insights into tumor progression and neurodegenerative diseases, ...

Researchers image and measure tubulin transport in cilia

2 hours ago

Defective cilia can lead to a host of diseases and conditions in the human body—from rare, inherited bone malformations to blindness, male infertility, kidney disease and obesity. Scientists knew that somehow ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.