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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A lemur successfully underwent surgery for breast cancer today at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Doctors at the Pittsburgh Zoo performed their first unilateral mastectomy on an 11-year-old ring-tailed lemur named Caera, according to the zoo.

Caera, an 11-year-old ring tailed lemur, successfully underwent a unilateral mastectomy on Tuesday. (Source: Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium)

The surgery was executed by Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, the zoo’s director of animal health and Dr. Jack Demos, founder and medical director of SurgiCorp International.

The zoo says the surgery went well and Caera is resting now. She’s expected to return to her home in the Tropical Forest Complex soon.

In the meantime, she’ll be monitored closely should any complications from the surgery emerge. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications are also being administered to Caera to keep her comfortable as she heals, according to the zoo.

“We are hopeful with this surgery that Caera will have a long, happy, cancer-free life. Animals are extremely resilient,” Dr. Sturgeon said in a press release. “They have a great capacity to heal.”

It all began earlier this year when a keeper noticed swelling near Caera’s breast. Upon Dr. Sturgeon’s examination, it was confirmed Caera had breast cancer.

The zoo also notes that lemurs are a critically endangered species, only found on the islands of Madagascar.

For more information about the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, visit their website here.

Kristine Sorensen