A 34-year-old gorilla has undergone a medical procedure usually reserved for humans after unusual growths were found in its nose.
Makokou, a male western lowland gorilla from Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa, was airlifted more than 40 miles (64km) to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital in Pretoria.
The facility’s CT (computed-tomography) scanner is strong enough to cope with the huge ape’s 210kg (33 stone) bulk.
It took more than five people to lift the sedated Makokou, who turns 35 next month, off the stretcher after the scan and he was closely monitored.
Zoo staff, who first became concerned for his health in May, decided he needed a scan after extensive tests revealed the primate had polyps in his nasal passages.
Medics believe these are responsible for chronic nasal discharge which had not been responding positively to routine medical treatments.
Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo spokesperson Jenny Moodley said: “During this procedure it was discovered that Makokou had a nasal growth which had been causing his symptoms.
“A biopsy of this was taken and sent for histopathology. The results revealed that he has chronic rhinitis with inflammatory polyps developing in his nasal passages.
“The well-being and care of Makokou who will celebrate his 35th birthday on 9 July, remains of paramount importance for all staff at the Joburg Zoo.”
The only way to see how bad the lesions are is using the CT scan.