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Orangutans Get Aromatherapy Treatments

December 3, 2003

DENVER (AP) _ The Denver Zoo’s four orangutans are smelling pretty good these days _ they’re getting daily aromatherapy treatments.

That means the 20-year-old ape Mias gets chamomile on his right ear, basil and angelica on his nose, and fennel, eucalyptus and frankincense on his forehead.

Keepers says the treatment has helped alleviate symptoms from allergies and an upset stomach.

In Allie’s case, the 8-year-old primate became depressed when her mother died two years ago. She stopped acting like the silly adolescent she was before her mother’s death, but that changed when she started receiving daily aromatherapy.

``When you see how goofy they are, this is how it should be,″ keeper Rhonda Pietsch said as Allie played in her cage after an oil treatment.

Practitioners of aromatherapy say their oils extracted from plants promote physical, spiritual and emotional health.

The Denver Zoo is believed to be one of the first to try it out on animals.

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