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   Undertoad  Friday Oct 3 02:09 PM

10/3/2003: Albino gorilla has skin cancer

A touching one today, this is Copito de Nieve, 'Snowflake' at the Barcelona zoo, Spain. He's been considered a mascot of Barcelona since he was captured in 1966.

He is the only albino gorilla in the world, and he is dying. Vets told the world that Snowflake has terminal skin cancer and is expected to live only a few months.

He's had 22 gorilla kids in his 37 years at the zoo, but none were albino. The genetic trait is out there, and maybe one day it will be expressed again, but for now, this is the last one.

Jacque Strapp  Friday Oct 3 02:28 PM

It looks to me like he is coming on to the picture taker. Maybe he is ready for kid #23.

MachineyBear  Friday Oct 3 04:17 PM

He can't fool me.. He bleaches it.

quzah  Friday Oct 3 04:34 PM

Re: 10/3/2003: Albino gorilla has skin cancer

Originally posted by Undertoad
He's been considered a mascot of Barcelona since he was captured in 1966.
How depressing. Almost 40 years in captivity. I wonder if he can even remember being free now...


daniwong  Friday Oct 3 05:28 PM

Originally posted by Jacque Strapp
It looks to me like he is coming on to the picture taker. Maybe he is ready for kid #23.
he does look a little frisky. Sad though that he is dying. Maybe he knows that and is trying to live his life to the fullest.

gossard187  Friday Oct 3 09:57 PM

Re: Re: 10/3/2003: Albino gorilla has skin cancer

Originally posted by quzah

How depressing. Almost 40 years in captivity. I wonder if he can even remember being free now...

I think "free" means different things to animals (not to start a huge thread here). He may or may not remember living in the wild, but 22 kids, all the food he needs, never having to defend himself from other males, he may have no problem living in captivity. after gorillas pass adolesence they calm down a great deal and probably don't care whether they are free to roam or not, because he was still satisfying all his feral "needs". This is all speculation of course.

xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Oct 4 12:22 AM

(not to start a huge thread here).
That may be wishful thinking.
I agree he's been living large and I doubt he's been contemplating the meaning of life or his place in the grand sceme of things.

LUVBUGZ  Saturday Oct 4 12:51 AM

Poor Snowflake . I'm not big on zoos (for reasons I won't get into here, mainly not to "start a huge thread"), but in Snowflake's case I have to pause and wonder if maybe he did do better in the zoo. If left in the wild I wonder what his longevity would have been, being an albino and all. Albinos in any species don't tend to do well in the wild.

LUVBUGZ  Saturday Oct 4 12:54 AM

I wonder if they had taught him to use sunscreen if it would have reduced his chance of getting skin cancer or at least prolonged it?

OnyxCougar  Monday Oct 6 05:29 PM

I thought Albinos of any species were already light-sensitive? Why'd they let him get so much sun???

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Oct 6 07:24 PM

Because you can't sell tickets to a hidden gorilla.

OnyxCougar  Monday Oct 6 07:28 PM

Can sell tickets to an INDOOR gorilla. Can't sell em to a dead one.

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Oct 6 09:11 PM

Naw, the activists wouldn't stand for not letting out. They'd demand he be accorded his right to get cancer like every other albino gorilla.

Skunks  Tuesday Oct 7 01:32 AM

So, I'm sitting here, phrasing a joke about eating him once he's dead while I wait for the page to load (I miss cable, as much as it sucked), and I'm struck with a question I'm too lazy to research for myself:

Is it hazardous to eat cancerous flesh?

I'm guessing not, because you're primarily aiming for the muscle and, unless you're developing a "Gorilla" line of sushi, it's likely cooked.

Regardless of the obvious logic, eating formerly diseased animals isn't something I've ever given much thought to. Go figure.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 7 05:35 AM

Interesting question, Skunks. I would suppose diseased animals in the wild are eaten when they die. Maybe it depends what they are eaten by. Scavengers tend to have stronger digestive systems.

Undertoad  Tuesday Oct 7 09:02 AM

I'm gonna pull a guess out of my ass and say yes. You wouldn't "catch" cancer from eating cancer so the only question is whether the tumor is toxic or not. I think the body would break it down just like any other flesh.

juju  Tuesday Oct 7 10:15 AM

From what I understand, cancer is just cells that start multiplying out of control. Some sort of trigger is missing, and they don't 'stop' when they're supposed to. So if that's true, then it wouldn't hurt you at all.

OnyxCougar  Tuesday Oct 7 10:40 AM

Where's our resident biologist when we need her?

dave  Tuesday Oct 7 12:09 PM

Swimming with dolp^H^H^H^Hsharks.

LUVBUGZ  Tuesday Oct 7 12:12 PM

Originally posted by OnyxCougar
I thought Albinos of any species were already light-sensitive? Why'd they let him get so much sun???
In a way that's what I was getting at. Of course the zoo is going to display the only albino gorilla alive (money talks, etc.) but I was thinking they could have offered him a bit more protection from the sun because they *know* that albinos are light-sensitive, hence the sunscreen idea. Not knowing the set-up at that particular zoo I would have suggested that they offer him a shady enclosure with some sunlight, but not let him sit in the blaring sun day in and day out. Like I said I don't know the set-up there so maybe they did , but I think teaching him to use sunscreen would have been a good idea too.

In response to other posts, yeah you can't sell tickets to a hidden gorilla or a dead gorilla, but like the SD zoo you can sell tickets to semi-hidden gorillas, or Pandas for that matter. Interestingly enough I went to the zoo yesterday. I basically avoid such places because I have very strong issues with zoos and "attractions" where animals are housed, but since it was FREE due to it being Founders Day, a friend dragged me down there, so I didn't financially support their "cause".

I must say it's good to go once in awhile just to reinforce my views and as usual I wasn't let down. Nothing has changed, neurotic beasts everywhere you look. All right, I'm going to stop here before I get to "emotionally involved" and piss off the Cellar regulars again.

Anyway, about eating cancerous meat. I have to admit that I'm not sure, but I guess I wouldn't advise it since apparently we still don't know all there is to know about it. It would seem on the surface to be OK to eat it because it is just a group of cells that has gone haywire and mass produced themselves and once these cells are "dead" it wouldn't seem that they could cause any further damage, but I don't know. Maybe the "trigger" (DNA sequence, particular gene, etc.) could someway incorporate itself into the DNA of the person eating cancerous meat and somehow cause cancer in that person, who knows.

Another way to look at it is we consume meat that supposedly contains cancer causing elements (hormones, steroids, chemicals, etc.) so it would seem that we would have probably the same chance of getting cancer from eating "non-cancerous" meat as we do from eating "cancerous" meat. Again, I don't know the answers, I'm just posing a thought.

Another thing I find interesting, although it's a bit off thread, is people who claim they can "smell" cancer. I worked for a lady who said she could and addressed a customer who she could "smell" cancer on and the person said "I don't have cancer", then a couple of months later that person came back and told her that she went to the doctor's and in fact she did have cancer. I have also heard the same thing from hospital nurses who also claim they can "smell" cancer. Anyone else heard of this?

OnyxCougar  Tuesday Oct 7 12:39 PM

I have a friend who can "see" cancer. She says she can see auras of living things, and when someone has cancer, she can see where it is. I've seen her do it. She also see other types of sickness, but she says cancer is the most prominent.

juju  Tuesday Oct 7 12:50 PM

Yeah, I've heard lots of stories saying that animals can smell cancer. Of course they have a hard time communicating it when they find it, but discoveries have been made by them, I'm told.

BrianR  Tuesday Oct 7 05:48 PM

Beagles are especially good for this...Western medicine is investigating their use. It must be difficult to train a dog to smell this, but it appears that certain types of cancer do indeed have a characteristic 'scent'.


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 7 09:45 PM

Damn right, cancer stinks.

dave  Monday Nov 24 01:52 PM

He died.

Whit  Monday Nov 24 03:11 PM

From the Link:
In his 37 years at the Barcelona zoo, he fathered 22 offspring with three different females. None is albino.
      Considering his age and this quote, I'd say he had a good life...

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Nov 24 11:39 PM

I dunno, 22 screaming brats and three mothers- in- law.

Whit  Tuesday Nov 25 01:11 AM

      Nah, he acts like he intends to discipline the kids even once and they're shipped off to a different cage. Assuming that they were ever with him in the first place. Plus, they never said anything about marriage, just that he knocked some ape ladies up. They're moms probably weren't even at the same zoo anyway.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 25 08:25 PM

Ooooh, I see. A gorilla Ron Jeremy. Except Ron has dark hair.

juju  Tuesday Nov 25 09:54 PM

I had kind of envisioned "Conan the Barbarian", when he's in his cage full of lavish stuff, and they're giving him women.

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