Perth Zoo’s primate patriarch, 126-kilogram Sumatran orang-utan Dinar, will remain the key player in a world-famous breeding program after getting full marks in a detailed health check.
Eight people were needed to carry the anaesthetised 26-year-old great ape in a stretcher to a mini-van for the trip to the on-site hospital on Thursday.
Staff worked quickly to ensure the check was done before the anaesthetic wore off, taking blood samples, checking Dinar’s mouth and teeth, giving him a tetanus vaccination and using a sonographer to take an ultrasound scan of his heart.
“The veterinary team worked on Dinar from head to toe, making the most of the opportunity to check him over thoroughly,” Perth Zoo senior veterinarian Simone Vitali said.
“Dinar appears to be in great condition, which is terrific news given his key role in our Sumatran orang-utan breeding program.”
Dinar has sired three of the 29 orang-utans bred at the zoo since 1970.
Two were released into protected rainforest in Sumatra as part of a reintroduction program to help re-establish a population of the threatened species.
But in April the first zoo-born male Sumatran orang-utan to be released into the wild, Semeru, died after being bitten by a snake.
Zoo staff were devastated by the news, but were glad he experienced 17 months in the wild.