The University of Rochester School of Medicine’s Echocardiology Unit, under the direction of Karl Schwarz M.D. has performed echocardiograms on all of our Bornean orangutans over the past eight years.
Last week we expanded our healthy heart exams of Seneca Park Zoo animals, beginning with our special seniors like Benny, our blonde, 32-year-old white-handed gibbon in addition to our five-year-old olive baboon Pepperella. Dr. Schwarz indicated with a charming smile during Benny’s ultrasound cardiac exam that he had the healthy heart of an older man while much younger Pepperella’s heart was impressively athletic.
As the Zoo and University of Rochester proceed evaluating all of our animals’ heart health, we will be pioneering in species’ frontiers, ranging from our “heart smart” fish-eating penguins and sea lions to our high-fat worm-eating sturgeon which live to 150 years!
We will with this new collaborative effort be learning more about translational medicine intersecting human and animal heart health than ever considered possible in the past. Stay tuned for more lessons learned , discoveries and medical advances as we understand more about the healthy Zoo animals we exhibit and share habitat and risk factors with!
– Dr. Jeff Wyatt, Director of Animal Health & Conservation Science