Diagnosis and Treatment of Reproductive Disease in a Captive Group of Gelada Baboons (Theropithecus gelada)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2006
Robert P. Moore1, DVM, DAVBP (Avian); Florence Klecha2, LVT; Carlos Rodriguez3, DVM; Laurie R. Goldstein4, MD, SACOG; Stephanie B. James1, DVM, DACZM; Paul P. Calle1, VMD, DACZM; Kristine M. Smith1, DVM; Robert A. Cook1, DVM; Bonnie L. Raphael1, DVM, DACZM
1Department of Clinical Care, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA; 2Department of Mammalogy, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA; 3Department of Pathology, Wildlife Health Sciences, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA; 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, USA


A high incidence of female reproductive tract disease has been documented in a group of captive gelada baboons (Theropithecus gelada) at the Wildlife Conservation Society-Bronx Zoo from 1979 to 2005. Medical and necropsy records were reviewed for 19 of 33 animals, and reproductive tract disease was diagnosed in 15 (79%) animals. Diagnosis was confirmed by postmortem examination (47%) or by histopathologic examination of surgical biopsies (53%). Adenomyosis (87%) and endometriosis (40%) were the most commonly identified abnormalities, while both conditions were present in 33% of the cases. Ovarian involvement was not a finding in any case.

Clinical signs suggestive of reproductive disease included irregular menses (80%), lethargy/weakness (60%), dysmenorrhea (40%), anorexia/inappetence (33%), and pale mucous membranes (33%). Only one animal (7%) with reproductive disease had none of these signs. Antemortem diagnostics revealed anemia (73%) and abdominal mass (67%) as the most common examination and clinicopathologic and physical examination findings. Radiography (40%) and ultrasonography (80%) were performed in many cases, while laparoscopy was performed in one case (7%). Hormone therapy was pursued in 27% of the cases; ovariohysterectomy was performed in 47% of the cases.

Reports of reproductive tract disease in the gelada baboon are lacking. The findings of this investigation indicate a high frequency of adenomyosis, and close association of adenomyosis with endometriosis. The latter has been demonstrated to be a significant association in infertile women and baboons.2 Spontaneous endometriosis in baboons shares important features with the disease in women,1 and these features appear to be similar to those seen in the gelada baboon.


The authors wish to thank Dr. Colleen McCann and the staff of the Department of Mammalogy, Drs. D. McAloose and Julie White and the staff of the Department of Pathology, and the technical and support staff of the Department of Clinical Care, Wildlife Conservation Society-Bronx Zoo.

Literature Cited

1.  Dick, E.J., G.B. Hubbard, L.J. Martin, and M.M. Leland. 2003. Record review of baboons with histologically confirmed endometriosis in a large established colony. J. Med. Primatol. 32(1):39–47.

2.  Kunz, G, D. Beil, P. Huppert, M. Noe, S. Kissler, and G. Leyendecker. 2005. Adenomyosis in endometriosis—prevalence and impact on fertility. Evidence from magnetic resonance imaging. Hum. Repro. 20(8):2309–2316.


Speaker Information
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Robert P. Moore, DVM, DAVBP (Avian)
Department of Clinical Care
Wildlife Conservation Society
Bronx, NY, USA

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