Aging Animals at the Zoo Get the Care They Need

As humans, we are more than familiar with the extra care we need as we get older. We tend to start feeling our age when we are still quite young, and as we hit our golden years, we may feel a little more tarnished than we should.

As it turns out, this isn’t only true of humans, but it is also true of animals as well. At the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, this is managed in a very special way.

Photos: YouTube / WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore

An example of this is one of the senior citizens at the Maryland Zoo. He is Hassan the lion, and although he is only in his late teens, he is feeling his age.

Hassan is not the only senior citizen at the Maryland Zoo. There are many others who need special assistance, so they provide the eldercare necessary to give the animals a long and comfortable life.

Keeping the Animals Comfortable

Being comfortable is part of the plan, but it is by no means the only thing to consider. Older animals may not eat as well as younger animals, and if they aren’t able to move around easily, the zoo will make accommodations for it.

Joyce is a great example of how people are taking care of aging animals at the zoo. She is the oldest chimp at 51 years old, and she is experiencing some of the same physical changes that humans experience as they age.

Photos: YouTube / WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore

Joyce is suffering from hip arthritis, and she is more sedentary than she used to be. The animal keepers at the zoo will monitor her carefully to spot any changes in her arthritis.

Joyce also gets physical therapy, doing stretches to keep her hips and feet mobile.

They also provide medication, including a joint supplement and ibuprofen as needed.

Helping the Larger Animals

The larger elderly animals at the zoo often sleep standing up. They do so because it is uncomfortable to get up and down to sleep.

The staff makes up for this in creativity by installing safety bars and ramps. They also give the animals an area where they can lean while they are sleeping.

Until the option is available to move the older animals into a retirement home, these dedicated people at the zoo will do what is necessary to keep them safe, comfortable, and living a long life.

People, Pets & Planet

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