Joburg Zoo's only orangutan dies

Dumai, one of Joburg Zoo's oldest & most well-known animals, suffered heart failure during a medical exam.

Dumai the Sumatran orangutan at the Johannesburg Zoo. Picture: The Johannesburg Zoo.

JOHANNESBURG - One of Johannesburg Zoo's oldest and most well-known animals, Dumai the orangutan, has died.

The primate suffered heart failure on Wednesday while doctors had him under general anaesthetic during a full medical examination.

Dumai was 26-years-old and was the zoo's last remaining orangutan.

Doctor Kresen Pillay said Dumai had serious underlying heart problems and would have suffered had they not tried to examine him.

"It was very unfortunate. It was very heartbreaking for all of us. A lot of people were really attached to him and we tried our best. The problem was that we couldn't leave him."

He said Dumai was a 'chilled guy' who loved fruit and was attached to some of the female zookeepers.

Dumai was born in 1989 at Leipzig Zoo in Germany and was brought to the Johannesburg Zoo in 1998.