Gorilla Undergoes Extensive Exams at Zoo Miami

Barney the gorilla was examined by veterinarians and human doctors to address respiratory and cardiac concerns

A silverback lowland gorilla named Barney returned to his habitat Tuesday after undergoing a series of exams at Zoo Miami. 

The 385-pound ape received specialized procedures including a bronchoscopy and ultrasound, according to a press release. Standard exams such as blood collection, x-rays and a general physical were also conducted.

Image: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

The 28-year-old gorilla was suffering from a lingering cough, the press release said. Dr. Gregory Holt, a pulmonologist from the University of Miami, performed a bronchoscopy to inspect the animal's bronchi and lungs.

Preliminary findings show that Barney may be suffering from pneumonia, but cultures were taken and doctors are awaiting results for confirmation.

Barney has been receiving treatment for hypertension and heart disease, which adult male gorillas have been known to suffer from.

Veterinary cardiologist Dr. Dewey Carpenter performed an ultrasound of the ape's heart to help assess his condition and evaluate the effectiveness of his treatment. 

Though Barney's blood pressure was normal, the cardiologist found that he had a slightly enlarged heart but felt that it was within normal limits for a gorilla of his age.

Following the exam's completion, Barney was returned to his habitat and has since made a full recovery.

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