The old folks at the San Francisco Zoo are living like the rich and famous. According the Zoo’s bi-annual Veterinary Report for Geriatric Care, a whole range of aging animals are troubled with arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, dental problems, cancer and more. However, these animals are getting various medical treatments including fluid therapy, diet modifications, and habitat changes that are vamping up their living style. Let’s take a look at how a few of these retired veterans are doing.
First off, we have Leo, the 19-year-old koala. Chewing has gotten tough for this fella with worn down molars. Now he gets handfed meals and a delicious pured eucalyptus smoothie served to him four times a day. He is living the life hanging out on the lower trees specifically modified for him. He even gets the luxury of ramps and extra water bowls.
Next we have, my personal favorite, Mr. Tibbits – a frail 15-year-old warthog that looks like an older, thinner, and slightly hairier Pumba from the Lion King. Mr. Tibbits suffers from arthritis, but is accommodated with special bedding to keep his body comfy and extra heat sources to keep his joints warm and happy. In addition, he receives joint injections known as NSAIDs.
Last but not least, we have Elly the 39-year-old rhino who showers in more style than anyone I know. With a dry skin condition, Elly basically gets a soothing spa treatment each day that features a special mineral oil bath. Talk about five-star treatment! She’ll get back to her healthy moisturized skin in no time!
While these golden-agers are doing well, some were less fortunate. The zoo is still mourning the passing of Kikimova the mouse lemur. She died at the age of 17 of kidney failure. Although she was blind from cataracts in both eyes, she was still catching crickets up until her last days!
They also miss Humbuba, the 22-year-old boa constrictor. After an eight-month therapy including force-feeding and surgery, the zoo elected for euthanasia as he just wasn’t improving. He was one of the favorite Animal Resource Center snakes since 2003. Lastly we commemorate, Hien the Francois monkey who died at 32 from kidney disease and a brain tumor. She was, the zoo says, a well-loved mother and grandmother within her group. She was also the oldest living and last wild born Francois Langur in captivity.
You can see the entire report, which is chock full of amazing pictures of the animals from this piece and many more, here. We highly recommend it.