Peanut The Orangutan Starts Chemotherapy

Peanut the Orangutan has started chemotherapy.

According to the Daily Mail, the eight-year-old orangutan at Miami’s Jungle Island is the first orangutan in the world to be treated with aggressive chemotherapy. Peanut was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in August after a veterinary team found an intestinal obstruction. Later it was revealed that Peanut had cancer.

Dr. Joseph Rosenblatt, one of the doctors treating Peanut said that he was optimistic that the orangutan would beat cancer, but admitted that he wasn’t exactly sure how Peanut would react to the treatment.

Rosenblatt said:

“I’ve never had the same combination of fear and enthusiasm in one patient before… We don’t know what to expect and yet we’re intensely curious and potentially hopeful that we can help the animal.”

TakePart reports that other great apes have received some form of cancer treatment in the past. In 2000, a National Zoo orangutan underwent surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed. In 2009, two gorillas received radiation therapy in North Carolina. Sadly, all three of those apes had to be euthanized.

Peanut, however, has a good chance of survival. Peanut the orangutan is only 8-years-old. The three apes that were euthanized after cancer treatment were all over 30.

Researchers at the zoo says that Peanut, and his fraternal twin brother Pumpkin, know that something is wrong.

Dr. Jason Chatfield said:

“Pumpkin knows something is up… All Pumpkin wants to do is play with her sister, but Peanut just wants to rest.’

Here’s a video from the Associated Press about Peanut’s chemotherapy.