Orangutan at Zoo Miami dies after undergoing anesthesia for dental procedure

Necropsy being performed to determine cause of 44-year-old Kumang's death
Zoo Miami orangutan named 'Kumang' dies on Sept. 23, 2021
Posted at 1:41 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 13:41:37-04

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. — A 44-year-old orangutan at a South Florida zoo died Thursday after undergoing anesthesia for a dental procedure.

Kumang, a 140-pound Bornean orangutan at Zoo Miami, died shortly after waking up from anesthesia, Zoo Miami spokeswoman Cindy Castelblanco said Friday.

The orangutan was anesthetized while veterinarians extracted two teeth that were causing an infection in her gums.

During the procedure, Kumang was being closely monitored by veterinarians, veterinary technicians and a human cardiologist, Castelblanco said.

There were no complications during Kumang's procedure and she was returned to her enclosure to recover from the operation, Castelblanco said.

Kumang was observed opening her eyes, sitting up on her own and climbing onto her platform bed. However, for reasons unknown, Kumang suddenly went into a recumbent position and stopped breathing, Castelblanco said.

Attempts by the zoo's animal health team to resuscitate Kumang were unsuccessful.

A necropsy was planned for Friday to determine her cause of death.

Kumang was the mother of an 8-year-old female orangutan, Bella, who lives at Zoo Miami.