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Peek, the Bornean orangutan at Bioparc Fuengirola, dies of heart failure

Peek, the Bornean orangutan at Bioparc Fuengirola, dies of heart failure

The primate was born in 1993 and was first brought to the Costa del Sol conservation park in 2002

SUR

FUENGIROLA.

Tuesday, 7 February 2023, 18:26

Peek, the male Bornean orangutan that had lived in Bioparc Fuengirola since 2002, died unexpectedly this weekend due to heart failure. Staff at the park noted his behaviour had been normal and there was no cause for concern. However, the sudden immobility of Peek triggered alarms among workers.

"Peek's death has come as a surprise to everyone. He did not display any symptoms that would make us suspect that he was suffering from heart failure. His movements and behaviour with the rest of the orang-utans in the group were normal," said Jesús Recuero, technical director and veterinarian at Bioparc Fuengirola.

From the moment the veterinary and zoology teams observed that something was wrong with Peek, they implemented a special protocol. Once the rest of the orangutans were in the inner shelters, both teams entered the outer enclosure. Under guidelines, the condition of the male was evaluated and Peek was certified as deceased.

The autopsy carried out later determined that he had suffered heart failure. “We have examined all the organs. All of them were in perfect condition, except for the heart. He had heart failure on the right side and injuries to his muscles that confirmed the heart attack he suffered," explained Recuero.

Born at Rotterdam Zoo in 1993, Peek came to Fuengirola for the first time in 2002. After being transferred for a few years to Palmitos Park in Gran Canaria, the majestic male Borneo orangutan returned to the Malaga conservation centre at the request of the coordinator of the EAZA Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

More than 60% of orang-utans extinct in 40 years

According to data shown by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) orangutans do not exceed 104,700 in the world, a figures that represents 64 per cent fewer than the 288,500 registered at the beginning of the 1970s. The organisation estimates that, if its decline and the threats that cause it, continue at the same rate, most of its population will become extinct in the next 50 years.

Since the opening of Bioparc Fuengirola in 2001, the park actively participates in the programme for the conservation and reproduction of the species at a European level (EEP).

The park has been committed to the conservation of the Bornean orangutan and its habitat since 2013. Through the Bioparc Foundation, it collaborates with the Borneo Nature Foundation association for the in situ conservation of the species, through habitat restoration actions and reforestation in the Sabangau forest in Borneo. In addition, it carries out research activities in the forest, training and capacity building to promote sustainable development and educate the population to protect the island's natural resources.

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