MADISON (WKOW) -- Henry Vilas Zoo is mourning the loss of Casey, a 31-year-old chimpanzee, who passed away following his physical examination and diagnostic procedures.
The exam was part of a preventive medicine program to help evaluate Casey's general health and was a collaborative effort between Zoo animal and medical staff and the UW School of Veterinary Medicine.
Casey underwent tests including blood collection to evaluate his liver, kidney and other organ function, and testing for diabetes and other metabolic diseases. He also underwent an ultrasound and x-rays to assess heart health.
The chimp died during the anesthetic recovery process.
Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz says, "Casey was a well-loved animal and a favorite of many at our zoo. He will be dearly missed by zoo staff and the community."
A complete post-mortem diagnostic work-up is being done at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, which will be used to determine the cause of his passing.
Data collected during the procedure will also contribute to the Great Ape Heart Project, which addresses the critical need to investigate and understand cardiovascular disease, a common occurrence in great apes such as chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas.
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