Kan. orangutan undergoes emergency hysterectomy

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — One of two pregnant orangutans at Topeka Zoo has lost her baby and was given an emergency hysterectomy to save her life.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/ZIhAFO) reports Lena was in the third trimester of her first pregnancy when zoo staff became concerned Wednesday about her eating habits and lethargy.

The 30-year-old orangutan refused to present her belly for an ultrasound Thursday night, and at 12:30 p.m. Friday she was anesthetized and taken to the zoo's veterinary hospital.

An ultrasound showed a fetus but no heartbeat. The medical team performed an emergency cesarean section that revealed the baby was outside the uterus.

Lena is most widely known at the zoo as the orangutan that blows kisses. A second orangutan at the zoo is expected to give birth next month.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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