DNA analysis by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's veterinary school confirmed that a rare tapeworm in the genus Verstaria killed a Milwaukee County Zoo orangutan named Mahal. After becoming lethargic, Mahal was treated with antibiotics by zoo staff, but his condition deteriorated and he died. It's unknown how he contracted the tapeworm and why such a fulminate infection occurred, but officials suspect Mahal may have had compromised immune function. The public isn't at risk of contracting the tapeworm, zoo officials say, but keepers are closely watching the other primates.
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