A constipated gorilla who underwent surgery to relieve her tummy ache has died due to late-stage ovarian cancer, days after the medical procedure that should have saved her life.
Topeka Zoo staff members are mourning the loss of Tiffany, a 49-year-old gorilla who suffered from constipation days after animal doctors performed a surgery on her.
Before her death, a report from the Topeka Capital Journal posted on Yahoo News on Friday stated that the Tiffany was recovering from the medical procedure that eased her of her constipation.
According to Topeka Zoo Director Brendan Wiley, zoo keepers decided to have the constipated gorilla undergo surgery to determine why she is reluctant to eat and wasn’t acting like herself.
Wiley said the surgery “went well,” explaining that a significant amount of stool was found and removed from the animal’s colon. Based on his statement, zoo keepers were hoping for the best-case scenario where Tiffany recovers fully. They had also planned to reassess her test results if things doesn’t go as well as they hoped.
According to the zoo, the gorilla “handled the anesthesia well,” allowing surgeons ample time to check on other issues that may have caused her sudden change in behavior.
Unfortunately, Tiffany, the constipated gorilla, had more health problems that she let on as animal doctors who performed the surgery later found out that she had late-stage ovarian cancer.
Based on a follow-up report from the Associated Press as posted by the London Free Press, the management of the Topeka Zoo revealed the veterinarian’s findings about fatal health issues the 49-year-old gorilla had.
“It became evident that the cancer had metastasized to the abdominal wall,” a statement from the zoo read, explaining that follow up scans performed on her on Sunday showed two abdominal masses inside Tiffany that was later identified as tumors.
According to a report on the constipated gorilla, such masses have been linked to stage four ovarian cancer. While performing a surgery to remove the tumors, the doctors paused the procedure and later decided that not waking her up after surgery was the best course of action.
The gorilla died shortly after that while “surrounded by the team of people that cared for her,” as described by the zoo.
Later on, Wiley released a statement explaining why they decided to let Tiffany go.
“Even if all the cancer affected tissue could have been removed, we just could not see an appropriate way to administer a regimen of chemotherapy to treat the cancer.”
Born in July 1968 at the Kansas City Zoo, Tiffany spent most of her life at the Topeka Zoo where she was treated like part of a family.
Wiley remembered Tiffany as a lover of books and stuffed animals who was “a big part of the persona of our zoo.” He said she loved watching kids just as much as the children loved to watch her.
“It seemed like everyone knew who Tiffany was,” he added.
Tiffany, the constipated gorilla, died just before 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 20, 2017.
[Featured Image by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]