Gladys Kalema-ZikusokaB.Vet.Med., M.R.C.V.S. and Linda LowenstineD.V.M., Ph.D.
A juvenile female mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) of the Mubare tourist group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, developed a severe, complete rectal prolapse that did not spontaneously resolve. Eight months prior, a juvenile female mountain gorilla of the Mubare group developed a mild, complete rectal prolapse that resolved spontaneously within 24 hr. Field guides reported that spontaneously resolving prolapses had been seen previously in two other juveniles, one of which was from the Mubare group. The tissue became increasingly necrotic and maggot infested over the course of 1 wk. Surgical intervention involved amputation of the affected rectal tissues and suturing the viable portion to the anal sphincter muscle with simple interrupted absorbable sutures. The surgery was performed in the field in accordance with Uganda Wildlife Authority policies. Antibiotics and anthelmintics were administered systemically, and the gorilla returned to the group. The gorilla appeared to recover fully after 3 wk. Histology of the resected rectal tissue confirmed intense inflammation and necrosis with myiasis but did not reveal an underlying etiology.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 32(4): 509-513. 2001