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Jungle Island Orangutan Doing Well After Being Treated With Chemotherapy

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Jungle Island's orangutan Peanut has been diagnosed with lymphoma. (Source: Jungle Island)

Jungle Island’s orangutan Peanut has been diagnosed with lymphoma. (Source: Jungle Island)

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Healthy Living

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – It’s been a year since Peanut the orangutan at Jungle Island was diagnosed with cancer, and after receiving several courses of chemotherapy, she is now “doing very well.”

Peanut, an orangutan born in captivity, arrived at Miami’s Jungle Island when her and her fraternal twin, Pumpkin, were six months old.

Peanut, now 9 years-old, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after her veterinary team found she had an intestinal obstruction and further testing revealed cancer.

Doctors decided to put Peanut on a plan for treatment that has been most effective in humans.

After three courses of chemotherapy, her doctors decided to stop her treatments for the aggressive lymphoma. Dr. Jason Chatfield, curator and staff veterinarian for Jungle Island, said in Nov. that the stress of “multiple immobilizations” for the treatment was a factor in a decision to end her chemotherapy.

“What we do know is that without this chemotherapy, Peanut would not survive,” Chatfield said at the time.

Now, a year later, she “is doing very well.”

“Peanut has handled this process with remarkable strength and we are could not be happier with her continued progress,” Dr. Chatfield said in a statement this week. “Though we have made it through this first milestone, we will continue to monitor Peanut’s health and her daily habits for any signs of relapse or illness.”

As part of her annual medical exam, doctors will also include diagnostic imaging such as a CT scan, radiology and ultra sound.

Peanut and Pumpkin are the youngest of six orangutans at Jungle Island.

The siblings have been a hit with park visitors, using sign language and an iPad to communicate with their trainers.

Pumpkin will also have an annual exam. She has not been diagnosed with the disease.

 

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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