Bikira Has Left Us


10. 04. 2021

On Friday, 9 April, Prague Zoo’s veterinarian, Dr Roman Vodička and his colleagues, medical doctors and Petmedic employees, fought for the life of Bikira, our female gorilla.

Her keepers first noticed Bikira was having problems on Thursday, April 8th. She was more tired, she only ate half of her food, and didn't move her left elbow. A check on the video recordings didn’t show that there had been a scuffle or any other incident in the house, so it seemed likely that these problems could be related to covid-19. The treatment administered took this into account.

On Friday morning, Bikira had lost all interest in her food and was lying on her belly. She was given analgesics and antibiotics, but her condition steadily worsened, with tremors and pale mucosa. Therefore, she was anesthetised and taken to the zoo’s veterinary facilities. The subsequent examinations (ultrasound and X-ray) showed that she was bleeding into her abdominal cavity. She was immediately operated on in an effort to save her life. During this surgery it was found that Bikira had a bleeding torn stomach wall (probably the result of an injury) with an enormous amount of blood clots and blood in the abdominal cavity, although it was no longer bleeding. She had lost more than three litres of blood.

Unfortunately, due to the enormous loss of blood, there was nothing more that could be done. Despite the quick reaction of all involved and their huge commitment, Bikira died three hours after the surgery, even though she was placed in intensive care on an artificial lung ventilator with support for her blood circulation.