Zookeepers noticed one of our young female ring tailed lemurs Georgie had become non-weightbearing on her hind left leg. The Vet was called out to examine her but no obvious wounds were discovered, so she was prescribed anti-inflammatories and pain relief. However, after no improvement was noted, the decision was made to bring her to the local Veterinary clinic for an x-ray to see what was going on. It was discovered that Georgie had somehow fractured the ball joint of her hip at the top of her femur. We are not sure how this happened as lemurs are very agile and adept climbers, but we suspect Georgie may have had a fall.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the break, it meant that Georgie would have to undergo surgery to have a procedure done called an FHO – a Femoral Head Ostectomy. This procedure involves removing the femoral head (or ball joint) at the top of the femur that would fit into the pelvis or hip joint. This procedure is routinely carried out with domestic pets such as cats and dogs and allows the animal pain free mobility in their pelvis. The muscles over time will hold the femur in place and allow the leg to remain stable. Visitors to the zoo will have noticed that Georgie is being kept confined to a smaller area while she heals. This is to prevent too much excessive movement from her to ensure maximum healing, which can be difficult with such a bouncy animal as a lemur. This healing process can take a long time and Georgie is slowly becoming more active and is using her leg more daily.
The 29th of July saw us celebrate International Tiger Day here at Tayto Park. Not only did it allow our education department and zookeepers the opportunity to spread their love of tigers with the guests, it also allowed them the chance to talk about 2022 being the Year of the Tiger, the threats facing tigers in the wild, the importance of zoos and conservation, and the wonderful charity we support – The Wildcat Conservation Alliance. This goal of the charity is “to save wild tigers and Amur leopards for future generations by raising awareness of their status and funding carefully through chosen conservation projects.” To date, Tayto Park has contributed €54,565 to support this charity.
Photo Credit: Zookeeper Antonia Cremin
It was also our amazing Amur tiger Khans 18th birthday which is reason enough to celebrate this beautiful animal. Happy birthday Khan! Hopefully we’ll have a wonderful surprise for you in our next newsletter. Watch this space!
Photo Credit: Zookeeper Emma Babington