Ohio orangutan first to get birth control in U.S.

In this still from a video posted by the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Kitra is seen eating. YouTube

CLEVELAND - An orangutan at a Cleveland zoo has become the first such animal in North America to receive an implanted birth control device.

The Plain Dealer reports that a Cleveland Clinic women's health specialist made a house call at the zoo Tuesday to demonstrate how to implant the contraceptive. It's about 1 1/2 inches long, slightly thicker than pencil lead and is meant for humans. The contraceptive went in the animal's arm.

General curator Geoffrey Hall says the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo doesn't want the young Bornean orangutan named Kira to breed, at least not yet. The procedure went well, and Kitra was back on her feet within two hours. She will be re-introduced today in the zoo's Rain Forrest exhibit to the four other orangutans.

In exchange for her help, the Clinic's Dr. Judith Volkar was given a backstage tour of the zoo's more exotic animals and got to sit on a giant tortoise that was nearly a century old and weighed 400 pounds.

Watch a video of Kitra getting a health checkup from the zoo below.

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