Karta’s post-mortem results indicate placental detachment issues

Adelaide Zoo’s veterinary team have undertaken a post-mortem examination on Karta the Sumatran Orangutan, who tragically passed away last week.

34-year-old Karta went into labour at around 6pm on Thursday, 26 January 2017 and gave birth to a stillborn infant. Sadly, she passed away just hours later.

Preliminary results indicate Karta experienced some placental detachment issues which lead to uterine bleeding.

Zoos SA Senior Veterinarian Dr Ian Smith said the necropsy indicated Karta experienced blood loss which ultimately led to her death.

“The treatment for such condition would be a hysterectomy but Karta would have been a poor candidate due to the blood loss she suffered,” Dr Smith said.

“The placental issue was effectively inoperable with medical treatments only delaying the inevitable.

“The histopathology results, which we’ll receive in a few weeks’ time, will shed more light on any other underlying issues that may have contributed to the placental issue or compounded the physiological impairment caused by the blood loss.

The veterinary team also conducted a post-mortem on Karta’s infant which showed the infant was stillborn and did not take a breath.

“The examination showed signs of meconium aspiration which is a sign of foetal distress. The risk factors for this include maternal blood loss from the placental bleeding and breech presentation.

“The maternal blood loss compromised the foetus and caused its death.

“The ultrasound performed the day before indicated no such signs of foetal distress.”

Zoos SA staff and volunteers are mourning the loss of our beautiful Karta and would like to thank the community for the outpouring of support at this sad time.

We continue to do all we can to support Kluet as he grieves the loss of his mate.

We also pay tribute to our expert veterinary and primate teams for their professionalism in dealing with such a difficult situation.

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.


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