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Phuket orangutan in critical condition

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: An orangutan recently confiscated from Phuket Zoo is in critical condition.

The beloved 13-year-old orangutan Milo was moved from the Phang Nga Wildlife Nursery Station to the intensive care unit of the Pasupalun Livestock & Wildlife Hospital in Kanchana Buri on Thursday.

“Initial tests have shown that her red blood cell count is very low. She also has vitamin and mineral deficiencies. She is very weak and suffering from serious stress, which is most likely due to her recent traumatic experiences,” Sirinthip Kemthong, a veterinarian at the hospital, told the Phuket Gazette today

Milo disappeared from the Phuket Zoo ahead of a raid on the facility in February (story here). Khao Phra Thaeo Non Hunting Zone officers discovered her trapped in a locked cage, after she was allegedly released into the jungle (story here).

Milo was immediately transferred to the Phang Nga Wildlife Nursery Station, where she was being taken care of while awaiting approval from the DNP director to be moved to the Khao Prathap Chang Wildlife Sanctuary in Ratcha Buri, which already houses a number of orangutans.

However, concerns for her failing health impelled the nursery station staff to move the hospital in Kanchana Buri.

“Two days before she departed, Milo went into convulsions. We believe that she might have suffered a stroke. However, we didn’t have the necessary equipment to further investigate what is wrong or to treat her, so she had to be moved,” said Songkrit Jearanasin, a veterinarian at the Phang Nga Wildlife Nursery Station.

Last week, Milo was reportedly on the mend after suffering from a debilitating blood disorder.

“Her legs became weak, she could not walk and did not want to eat,” explained Dr Songkrit at the time. “After analyzing her blood, we confirmed that she had vasculitis.”

Vasculitis, which is the inflammation of blood vessels, has numerous symptoms, including nerve issues, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss, fever and headaches. It occurs in humans, as well as other animals.

“We gave her the necessary medication and she is now recovering,” said Dr Songkrit.

Only days after Dr Songkrit provided the update on Milo’s condition, the great ape’s health took a turn for the worse.

“Whether or not she suffered a stroke or is having brain function issues due to the blood disorder, we simply don’t know yet,” Dr Sirinthip said today. “Right now, we are just taking care of the most basic things to nurse her back to health. Her blood pressure is at a safe level and we’re giving her lots of necessary vitamins and minerals.”

— Kongleaphy Keam

 

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