Kimani the Gorilla Diagnosed with Rare Liver Cancer in Calgary, Canada

Kimani the gorilla from the Calgary Zoo in Alberta, Canada, is being treated by veterinary specialists for a rare liver cancer, which is said to be an advanced type of liver cancer.

The latest developments one of the zoo’s gorilla troop members were confirmed by Calgary Zoo earlier this week.

Like humans, where the formation of malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous) tumors are common, animals are comparatively inflicted with cancer on some occasions.

There are some reported cases of cancer developments on some animal species, including cats, dogs, birds, elephants, fish, reptiles, and whales.

For primates, there were incidents where gorillas incur cancer and even death, particularly from the species of lowland gorilla, which Kimani belongs to.

As the young gorilla battles for survival, scientists continue to explore the biological mechanisms behind cancer and the development of a potential cure in the future.

Liver cancer and other types of cancer are responsible for millions of hospitalizations or deaths worldwide.

The liver tumor has been attributed for killing dozens of thousands of people in the United States alone, while gaining the title of being the sixth most common cancer globally.

Gorilla Liver Cancer Diagnosis


(Photo : Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

The case of Kimani is considered to be unique as the Calgary Zoo authorities and other expert veterinarians have claimed to have never seen a liver cancer develop and spread inside a primate as young as Kimani, as cited CTV News Calgary.

The adversity is increased as the medical condition is reportedly a severity of the liver cancer, which has already spread from Kimani’s entire liver to her lungs, heart, esophagus, and blood vessels (also called mediastinum).

Due to the complexity of the liver disease, the zoo caretakers transferred the young primate to the Western Veterinary Specialists to undergo an emergency CY scan on the animal’s abdomen and chest.

The first suspicion that Kimani may have health problems was when she was exhibiting slow activity level and decreased appetite last week.

Also Read: Non-Invasive Treatment Proven Effective for Rats with Liver Cancer

Advanced Form of Liver Cancer

In a Facebook post on Monday, June 6, the Calgary Zoo management confirmed they had consulted with radiology and human liver specialists.

It was only at this time when the zoo officials reportedly realized that Kimani has a “very serious form of pediatric liver cancer” which has already grown out of proportion.

In the post, the zoo authorities said they were working closely with both human and veterinary liver cancer experts to determine if the mysterious liver disease has a potential treatment or not.

Furthermore, the zoo also consulted with the gorilla SSP veterinarians.

Kimani is currently at the company of the Rainforest and veterinary teams in the meantime, being provided with food and drinks with her favorite fruits and vegetables, said the Calgary Zoo officials.

Liver Cancer Cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that approximately 25,000 men and 1,000 women develop liver cancer each year, where among this figure, 19,000 men and 9,000 women die from the disease.

The most common symptoms of a liver cancer are a swollen abdomen, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, and loss of appetite.

Related Article: Baby Gorilla Born After Rare Cesarean Section At Bristol Zoo [VIDEO]

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