News Release from Sedgwick County Zoo:
Chewbacca a male orangutan, also known as Chewy by keepers and Sedgwick County Zoo friends, died May 8, 2007. He came to Sedgwick County Zoo in 2002 from Calgary Zoo in Canada. Chewy was 26.
In 2005 Chewy was diagnosed with chronic bronchiectasis after Zoo veterinary staff together with help from the Wichita Clinic were able to use a bronchoscope to look at his airways and lungs. Bronchiectasis is an abnormal stretching and enlarging of the respiratory passages caused by mucus blockage. When the body is unable to get rid of mucus, mucus becomes stuck and accumulates in the airways. This results in a cycle of infection and blocked airways. Chewy began daily treatments for this incurable condition. The medication extended his quality of life. There is no doubt; regular Zoo visitors and especially the orangutan keepers and volunteers will miss Chewy.
The Association of Zoos & Aquarium's (AZA) Species Survival Plan™ (SSP) manages the orangutans in our care. Accredited institutions and certified related facilities having an SSP animal, such as orangutans, are required to fully participate in the SSP partnership process and abide by the recommendations of the SSP.