OKC Zoo caretakers act quickly after discovering orangutan’s dental, bacterial disease 

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A Sumatran orangutan at the Oklahoma City Zoo is recovering thanks to the quick work of caretakers.

Recently, Great EscApe caretakers noticed Toba, a Sumatran orangutan, was acting lethargic and not eating.

During an exam, it was discovered that Toba had a severe dental disease, including a bacterial infection in her jaw, zoo officials say.

Local dentist Dr. Colin Holman removed seven of Toba’s infected teeth.

Staff say this is not an uncommon occurrence for geriatric apes.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (ASA) reports the median life expectancy for a female Sumatran orangutan is 32.8 years. Toba is 50 years old.

Toba received antibiotics to fight the infection and medication to help alleviate short-term pain.


She will be out of public viewing for a week to 10 days.

Caretakers will continue to monitor her and make adjustments to her diet.

Toba was born in 1967 in Germany’s Nuremburg Zoo. She arrived at the OKC Zoo in 1975.

She is the second-oldest orangutan in an AZA-accredited North American zoo and the oldest zoo-born orangutan in the US.

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