Gorilla Gets Surgery for Broken Leg

An eight-year old gorilla living in a French animal park fell out of a tree and broke her femur near the top. She was in a lot of pain and could not use her leg. A visitor witnessed the accident and then told gorilla handlers. At first it was not clear if the problem was the foot or the leg. Kwanza was put to sleep so a non-invasive scan could be used to identify the injury.

The regular vets were unsure of what to do, as they were not trained to do the kind of operation needed. Eventually they contacted some orthopedic surgeons who visited Kwanza and determined surgery was necessary to repair the broken femur. The surgeons, who were from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Poitiers, performed the surgery at a veterinary clinic. Dr. Louis-Etienne Gayet and a surgical team operated for three hours. A six inch plate and 3.5 inch screw were used to reattach the bones.

It will be about six weeks before vets can tell if the bones are knitting in a healthy fashion. Meanwhile Kwanza is able to crawl around. She lives in the park called the Valley of the Monkeys, which has about 30 species of primates. Their website says, “Biodiversity is the richness of everything that surrounds us and which we are so used, it has become invisible. Biodiversity is our most precious heritage common to all living beings on the planet, what we need above all to secure.” They are located about 200 miles from Paris.

Image Credit: Valle de Singes

37 comments

Monique D.
Mon D.5 years ago

I hope she heals well, what a wonderful thing they did

Jean Lord
Jean Lord5 years ago

Hope she heals up. She'll soon be swinging from trees again.

Valerie Van Den Broeck
BLABLA B.5 years ago

Very good :)

Roisin S.
Roisin S.5 years ago

good feelgood story

Judith P.

From the video the park looks very natural with lots of green plants in the animals environment. Cannot tell much from the photos though. Kwanza was fortunate, and I hope she heals without complications. Thanks for the orthopedic surgeons to come to the zoo to help her. She is young and it is really unusual for a young animal that bounces in and out of trees to break a bone. Hope her diet is sufficient.

Pat Hippert
Patricia H.5 years ago

I hope Kwanza is well on her way to being healthy. This is one time where it was good she was in an animal park. If she would have been in the wild, she would have either died or been crippled in which case she wouldn't have been able to keep up with the rest. They still should be left in the wild...of course then the poachers would probably get her. Which would be worse:poachers or animal park.??

wilma s.
wilma s.5 years ago

thank goodness-bu.t still needs to be in the wild where they belong

Marie W.
Marie W.5 years ago

Kwanza peace

Lynn C.
Lynn C.5 years ago

Nice to see man helping animal instead of killing them for body parts or torturing them for "science".

CollieGirl cg
CollieGirl cg5 years ago

Praying for Kwanza's full recovery.