The Great Ape Heart Project

Where: Based at Zoo Atlanta
More info: greatapeheartproject.org
Gorilla info
Orangutan info
Zoo orangutan becomes first to participate in awake cardiac ultrasound
Gorilla participates in groundbreaking ultrasound

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality among great apes living in zoological settings. The Great Ape Heart Project is a multi-institutional collaboration that seeks to understand, diagnose, and treat cardiac disease across all four non-human great ape taxa (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos). The home of the nation’s largest collection of western lowland gorillas and the largest zoological collection of orangutans in the U.S., Zoo Atlanta is also the leader of a project that will benefit all great apes living in zoos.

What is the Great Ape Heart Project?
Based at Zoo Atlanta, the Great Ape Heart Project (GAHP) is led by Hayley Western Murphy, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services, to address a critical need to investigate and understand cardiovascular disease in great apes. The project was established with the goal of creating and maintaining a centralized database that can help us analyze cardiac data, generate reports, and coordinate cardiac-related research activities, while vastly improving communication among zoos, research facilities and sanctuaries where apes are housed. The data we collect will help individual animals, as well as enhance a body of knowledge that will benefit zoos nationwide.

Who are the project partners?
Organizing partners are Zoo Atlanta; the Emerging Diseases Research Group of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The project now involves more than 50 participants from over 30 institutions, including veterinarians, cardiologists, geneticists, epidemiologists, nutritionists, animal managers, ape specialists and research pathologists.

How can our community help?
You can help support a groundbreaking initiative that not only improves the lives of great apes living here at Zoo Atlanta, but also has an impact on apes living in zoos around the U.S. For donation questions contact Michael Anderson at 404.624.5830.


Any GE Vivid series or Phillips newer ultrasound machines Blood pressure monitors Anesthesia monitors Anesthesia work stations
Functional endoscopes Stethoscopes Opthalmoscopes EKG machines
Drugs, specifically Carvedilol, Enalopril, Celebrex and Tramadol Centrifuge Phase contrast microscopes Bandage scissors
Disposable shoe covers, gowns and gloves Scrubs Doppler monitors IV fluids
Miscellaneous supplies such as syringes Needles Large gurneys  
We cannot accept expired supplies

Great Ape Heart Project YouTube Playlist