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Zoo Miami Working To Keep J.J. The Gorilla Heart Healthy

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Zoo Miami’s adult male lowland gorilla, “J.J.” was anaesthetized Thursday May 9, 2013 to undergo a cardiac exam.  (Source: Zoo Miami/Ron Magill)

Zoo Miami’s adult male lowland gorilla, “J.J.” was anaesthetized Thursday May 9, 2013 to undergo a cardiac exam. (Source: Zoo Miami/Ron Magill)

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SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Zoo Miami is not monkeying around when it comes to the heart health of one of its star attractions.

Zoo Miami’s adult male lowland gorilla, “J.J.” was anaesthetized Thursday to undergo a cardiac exam. As part of the exam, the 33-year old patriarch received vaccinations, had his blood drawn, his blood pressure taken and underwent an echocardiogram as well as an electrocardiogram.

The 475-pound great ape was examined by Dr. Alan Schwartz, a human cardiologist who performed the echocardiogram. The entire procedure was supervised by Zoo Miami Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Chriss Miller and Associate Veterinarian Dr. Meredith Persky.

GALLERY: Star Attraction At Zoo Miami Undergoes Heart Exam

In addition to being part of an overall preventative medicine program, all of the procedures that were done are part of a long term study designed to better understand ongoing problems that J.J. has had with hypertension.

Initial results indicate that other than the need to lose a little weight, J.J.’s cardiac condition is good and the doctors were pleased with what they saw.

There will be minor adjustments in medication which is common in ongoing treatments. J.J. will spend the rest of the day recovering from the anesthesia off exhibit but should return to the exhibit by the weekend.

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