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1 September 2006 CHOLESTEROL VALUES IN FREE-RANGING GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA AND GORILLA BERINGEI) AND BORNEAN ORANGUTANS (PONGO PYGMAEUS)
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Abstract

Cholesterol concentrations in captive gorillas and orangutans vary widely within species and average approximately 244 mg/dl for gorillas and 169 mg/dl for orangutans as published previously. The International Species Inventory System reports higher concentrations of 275 and 199 mg/dl for gorillas and orangutans, respectively. It is unknown whether these values were typical, influenced by captive management, or both. To answer this question, banked serum samples from free-ranging mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei), western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), and Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) were analyzed for total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations. Mountain gorillas did not differ significantly from free-ranging western lowland gorillas in cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, indicating mountain gorilla values could be a model for western lowland gorillas. Captive gorilla total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than in free-ranging groups. Triglyceride concentrations for captive gorillas were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than the male mountain and western lowland gorillas, but they were not significantly different from the female mountain gorillas. Captive orangutan total cholesterol concentrations were only higher (P < 0.05) than the free-ranging female orangutans, whereas captive orangutan low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than both free-ranging male and female orangutans. Calculated and measured low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were compared for all free-ranging animals and were significantly different (P < 0.05) for all groups, indicating Friedewald's equation for calculating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is not appropriate for use with nonfasted apes. The higher total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations in captive apes may predispose them to cardiovascular disease and might be attributed to diets, limited energy expenditure, and genetics.

Debra A. Schmidt, Mark R. Ellersieck, Michael R. Cranfield, and William B. Karesh "CHOLESTEROL VALUES IN FREE-RANGING GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA AND GORILLA BERINGEI) AND BORNEAN ORANGUTANS (PONGO PYGMAEUS)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 37(3), (1 September 2006). https://doi.org/10.1638/05-040.1
Received: 25 April 2005; Published: 1 September 2006
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