London Zoo gorilla Effie undergoes life-saving operation | Nature | News

Vets had to perform delicate surgery on 24 year western lowland gorilla Effie when her keepers realised something was wrong – she had gone off her favourite meals.

Effie was on the operating table at the zoo’s on site animal hospital for more than four hours as the veterinary team removed eight inches of infected bowel.

For Effie, who has a two year old baby gorilla called Gernot, it was a salutary lesson on how her notorious eating habits can be a problem.

ZSL London Zoo’s profile of its famous gorilla colony singles out Effie for her love of food.

The zoo explains to visitors coming to its Gorilla Kingdom said: “Effie is well-known for her huge appetite and will happily steal the other gorillas’ food if no one is looking.” 

Yet it was when 200lb Effie began shunning her close-knit family to spend more time alone that her keepers became anxious and alerted the zoo’s veterinary team.

ZSL vet Amanda Guthrie said today: “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.”

As these scenes show, Effie was anaesthetised and then put under the knife so that the length of infected gut could be removed. 

Trapped food in her digestive system is believed to have been the cause. 

Gorillas are avowed vegetarians and those at London Zoo get a carefully balanced diet of fruit and vegetables – even if Effie has a reputation of stealing food from the rest of her family.

The vet 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.”

Over indulgence is a trait that has been witnessed among the gorilla troop on previous occasions, with silverback…

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