Miami-Dade County

Zoo Miami’s chimpanzees are getting up there in age. Time for a checkup.

Chimpanzees at Zoo Miami undergo medical procedures

Zoo Miami’s two female chimpanzees, Samantha and Bubbles, underwent several procedures by specialists who treat humans and animals on March 22. Both chimps are considered “very old” at 48 and 51 as the latter exceeds normal life expectancy.
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Zoo Miami’s two female chimpanzees, Samantha and Bubbles, underwent several procedures by specialists who treat humans and animals on March 22. Both chimps are considered “very old” at 48 and 51 as the latter exceeds normal life expectancy.

Getting older is not for the weak — not for the senior nor for their caretakers.

Just ask Samantha and Bubbles. The ol’ gals are 48 and 51, respectively. Samantha and Bubbles are referred to as “extreme senior citizens” by Zoo Miami’s spokesman Ron Magill. But that’s no disrespect. Samantha and Bubbles are chimpanzees, and chimps rarely live past 50, he notes.

Zoo Miami’s two female chimpanzees underwent several procedures and detailed physical exams on Thursday under a variety of specialists, both human and veterinary. The chimpanzees’ ages bring forth a variety of issues associated with living this long.

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Specialists in the human and veterinary fields treated Zoo Miami’s two female chimpanzees, Samantha and Bubbles, on March 22, 2018. The chimps underwent procedures to check on their health as they are considered quite old for their species at 48 and 51, respectively. Ron Magill Zoo Miami

As part of the exams, Magill said both chimps received blood tests, X-rays, and teeth cleanings. They also underwent ultrasounds to determine, among other things, blood circulation and heart function.

Samantha and Bubbles are doing pretty well, Magill reports. Samantha was in good condition for her age and did not require any special treatments. Bubbles required a tooth extraction as well as a treatment for an ulcer on her right eye.

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Specialists in the human and veterinary fields treated Zoo Miami’s two female chimpanzees, Samantha and Bubbles, on March 22, 2018. The chimps underwent procedures to check on their health as they are considered quite old for their species at 48 and 51, respectively. Ron Magill Zoo Miami

By Friday, both chimps were recovering at their exhibit area and looking forward to reuniting with their pals this weekend.

The specialists included dentists who treat people — Dr. Randall Groh, Dr. Richard Souviron and Dr. Adrian Correa from Dental Leaders — and numerous veterinarians.

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Specialists in the human and veterinary fields treated Zoo Miami’s two female chimpanzees, Samantha and Bubbles, on March 22, 2018. The chimps underwent procedures to check on their health as they are considered quite old for their species at 48 and 51, respectively. Ron Magill Zoo Miami

Among the veterinary team: ultrasound specialist Dr. Forrest Hayes; cardiologist, Dr. Dewey Carpenter; and ophthalmologist, Dr. Cherlene Delgado. Together, these specialists worked with Zoo Miami’s veterinarians Dr. Gwen Myers, Dr. Gaby Flacke and Dr. Jimmy Johnson.

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