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Busch Gardens announces death of 4-year-old orangutan after health battle

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Posted at 6:01 AM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 07:29:39-04

TAMPA, Fla.  — Busch Gardens staff are mourning the loss of a 4-year-old male orangutan.

In a Facebook post, the theme park said Malu's health began to decline earlier in July, and despite ongoing treatment, he was euthanized on Tuesday.

"Despite every effort to save his life, he reached the point where the only compassionate thing for our dedicated veterinary and animal care team to do was to humanely euthanize Malu today while surrounded by the people who had loved and cared for him since his birth at Busch Gardens in 2017," the post said.

Malu was described as a beloved member of the theme park's zoo family. The post said the team caring for him formed a very special bond after watching him grow from a newborn into a playful juvenile.

Busch Gardens said his passing at such a young age is "especially heartbreaking."

According to the Orangutan Conservancy, an orangutan's lifespan is 35-40 years in the wild, and sometimes, in captivity, they can live into their late 50s.