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Toronto Zoo And The Scarborough Hospital
Work Together To Perform Surgery On Western Lowland Gorilla

TORONTO, ON (April 29, 2015) - On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, a team from the Toronto Zoo’s Wildlife Health Centre and medical staff from The Scarborough Hospital’s Division of Orthopaedics performed surgery on the Zoo’s 10-year-old male Western lowland gorilla named Sadiki.

The surgery took just 20 minutes and was conducted in the Gorilla habitat at the Toronto Zoo.

Sadiki fractured his right fourth toe in mid-December and, despite routine treatment, developed a chronic infection in his bone and a septic joint. Regular training with the gorillas allowed voluntary radiographs and other diagnostic samples to be collected. Veterinarians at the Toronto Zoo then approached The Scarborough Hospital's Division of Orthopaedics to further discuss management options. After consulting with Dr. Michael Bushuk, an orthopaedic surgeon with The Scarborough Hospital, it was agreed that Sadiki needed a partial amputation of his toe if there was any hope of eradicating the infection.

“We wanted the best care for this critically endangered gorilla which is why we approached Dr. Bushuk, who performs similar orthopaedic surgery on a regular basis,” said Dr. Chris Dutton, Head of Veterinary Services at the Toronto Zoo.

“This is a great example of the community coming together to ensure the animals at the Toronto Zoo receive the best possible medical care. We are grateful to The Scarborough Hospital and the hospital staff who provided their expertise on a voluntary basis for Sadiki,” said Dr. Simon Hollamby, Toronto Zoo veterinarian.

“Our team was honoured to be approached by the Toronto Zoo, Canada’s premier zoo, to assist with Sadiki’s care,” said Dr. Bushuk. “The surgery went extremely well and Sadiki is recovering nicely from the procedure. We wish Sadiki the best and hope his recovery continues to go smoothly.”

The Toronto Zoo’s Wildlife Health Centre and Wildlife Care team continue to monitor Sadiki on a daily basis.

The Toronto Zoo is an active member of the North American Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP). The plan focuses on maintaining a genetically and demographically healthy Zoo gorilla population at the same time conservation efforts work to protect them in the wild.

Great apes are keystone species in forests that regulate the global climate. A failure to save them from extinction would truly be an irreversible loss. Current conservation efforts need to be widened, as trends suggest that all great ape species could become extinct in the wild in the 21st century, and some even within a few decades.


About the Toronto Zoo:

The Toronto Zoo is Canada's premier zoo and a leader in animal preservation and environmental protection. More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats – from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year. For more information, visit

About The Scarborough Hospital: 

Situated in one of the most diverse communities in Canada, The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) delivers compassionate, patient-centred care at two hospital campuses (Birchmount and General) and five satellite sites. TSH is a regional centre for dialysis and is renowned for its mental health, orthopaedic surgery, maternal newborn and paediatrics, chronic disease prevention and management, and cancer care programs. Affiliated with the University of Toronto, TSH is also a referral centre for vascular surgery, pacemakers and cataract surgery. For more information, visit

Media contacts:

Amanda Chambers
Supervisor of Public Relations and Events
Toronto Zoo


Holly-Ann Campbell
Director, Communications and Engagement
The Scarborough Hospital
#416-438-2911 ext. 8308


Toronto Zoo is accredited by CAZA (Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums). Look for this logo whenever you visit a Canadian zoo as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. For more information, visit

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