A 47-year-old dolphin called “Lucky”, suffering from cancer, is finally receiving medical treatment!
In September the bottlenose dolphin, was flown home to Brookfield Zoo to receive further testing and treatment after being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a common type of skin and oral cancer, according to a zoo news release.
Lucky had been at another accredited facility in Florida since 2008, the Chicago Zoological Society said in a news release.
Upon his return to Brookfield Zoo, Lucky underwent a thorough health assessment that included diagnostic imaging — ultrasound examinations and a CT scan — at the zoo’s animal hospital to assess whether the cancer had spread to other parts of his body, the release said.
“In Lucky’s case, we were able to conduct a full-body CT scan to assess his condition that thankfully did not show any evidence of cancer in his lymph nodes or other parts of his body at this time,” Dr. Jennifer Langan, senior staff veterinarian for the society, said in the news release.
Because of the close relationship between Lucky and the marine mammal staff, the 500-pound bottlenose dolphin is voluntarily participating in his treatments that he receives three to four times a week, the zoo said.
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“Due to Lucky’s calm nature, he is making this important medical treatment easy to accomplish by being 100 percent cooperative,” Rita Stacey, the zoo’s curator of marine mammals, said in the release.
At 47 years old, Lucky is the sixth oldest male bottlenose dolphin in human care at a facility accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks, according to the release. While Lucky is active and playful, he does show some signs of being a geriatric animal with age-related health issues similar to humans, including arthritis and diminishing vision, the zoo said.
The zoo staff says Lucky has been 100 percent cooperative with the treatments he receives three to four times a week.
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As part of his ongoing medical care, the 47-year-old dolphin gets regular ultrasounds and CT scans to see if cancer has spread.
After treatments, Lucky swims with his friends and gets an extra-large herring snack. Here’s to a healthy and “Lucky” future.