Gladys the Gorilla is Eight Pounds Lighter after Titanium Cast is Removed by Cincinnati Zoo Vets

Posted June 13, 2024

Physical therapy will be the next step in her healing journey

CINCINNATI, OH (June 13, 2024) — Eleven-year-old gorilla Gladys is finally rid of an extra eight pounds that she’s been carrying around since a titanium cast (the first of its kind) was placed on her broken arm in late April.  Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s veterinary staff removed the cast yesterday and say that her arm is in good shape and she’s ready for the next phase of the healing process.

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“Her X-rays looked really good today,” said Cincinnati Zoo veterinarian Dr. Jessica Heinz. “We also had a physical therapist here during the procedure to put her arm through some exercises. We saw really good improvement in her range of motion, and I’m optimistic that as the gorilla team does more PT with her, she’s going to get a lot of that motion and muscle back.”

“We will work with Gladys and help her navigate spaces that allow for more climbing so she can tap into her natural instincts,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s primate team leader, Ashley Ashcraft. “Her troop will remain in sight around the clock, aiding her transition as she rebuilds her arm muscles.”

Keepers have already started physical therapy training sessions, which will be crucial for her recovery. She has been voluntarily participating in stretches and work outs with the cast on, so the team expects her to continue with this routine.

Gladys’s return to her habitat hasn’t been determined. Keepers will assess her progress daily and adjust plans accordingly.

“Keepers will continue to observe the gorillas and make needed management adjustments to set them up for a successful re-introduction.  Silverback Mbeli is a confident and patient leader for his troop, and we expect him to handle this process well,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s zoological manager of primates, Victoria McGee.

Visitors can see the other gorillas during regular zoo hours – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Members get Early Entry and are welcome to enter the Zoo at 9 a.m.

DID YOU KNOW…. You pay more than $10 less per ticket, on select days, when you purchase tickets online!  That’s a $40 savings for a family of 4!