UW team doctor helps treat gorilla with leg injury - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UW team doctor helps treat gorilla with leg injury

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Photo: Woodland Park Zoo/Twitter Photo: Woodland Park Zoo/Twitter
SEATTLE -

The Woodland Park Zoo reported Tuesday that over the weekend, they called in University of Washington team physician Dr. Kimberly Harmon to help diagnose and injured gorilla.

The zoo called in Harmon and other human and animal medical specialists for a diagnostic examination on Jumoke, a 32-year-old female gorilla who was born and raised at the zoo. The zoo says the 275-pound western lowland gorilla sustained leg wounds during a scuffle in the sleeping dens with a young female gorilla in her group named Uzumma. Zoo staff says scuffles like this are not uncommon among gorillas.

 “Jumoke was having difficulty bearing weight on her right leg. Since animal patients can’t talk and tell their veterinarians where it hurts or describe the severity of the pain, we needed to intervene on her behalf by calling in a team of specialists to examine her for a bone or soft-tissue injury,” said Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health in a release on Tuesday. “Who better to call than the head physician of one of the nation’s top ranked football programs? We were very fortunate she used her expertise for Jumoke’s welfare.”

Doctors diagnosed Jumoke with a fractured tibia. Staff says the bone is already showing signs of healing and Jumoke won't need surgery. Jumoke with also undergo rehabilitation therapy to fully recover.

Harmon is a UW Medicine physician specializing in sports medicine, family medicine and orthopedic health. Also joining Harmon and the zoo’s veterinary team for the exam was Dr. Leslie Eide with Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle, who is certified in canine rehabilitation with a focus in sports medicine.

“We take care of more than 1,000 animals at the zoo. To ensure we provide top-notch care to each animal, we consult with experts throughout the country when it’s necessary. Locally, we rely on a network of volunteer medical specialists to consult and perform exams, procedures and surgeries. We are so grateful to this network and especially to Harmon, Eide and the other specialists who donated their time and expertise to help our injured gorilla,” said Collins.

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