The head physician of an American university football team has been called in to treat an injured gorilla after she got into a scuffle with her den-mate.

Jumoke, a 32-year-old female gorilla who was born and raised at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington, began to limp after an altercation with a young female gorilla in their sleeping den.

The zoo’s director of animal health said they needed to intervene because animal patients can’t communicate their pain, so they wanted to call in a team of specialists to conduct a diagnostic examination.

"Who better to call than the head physician of one of the nation’s top ranked football programs? We were very fortunate she used her expertise for Jumoke’s welfare," said Dr Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health.

Jumoke was examined by head physician of the University of Washington’s football team Dr Kimberly Harmon, who is used to treating torn ligaments, cartilage damage and other injuries in humans.

She was assisted by her team, Dr Albert Gee, a sports orthopaedic surgeon at UW Medicine, and Dr Alex Aguila from the Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle.

Jumoke was examined at the zoo’s veterinary hospital.

She underwent radiographs and was diagnosed with a bone fracture in her lower leg, which already showed signs of healing.

The 275-pound western lowland gorilla will receive antibiotics, pain relief and will need lots of rest.

She will also undergo physical rehabilitation.

(c) Sky News 2017: Sports physician called in to diagnose gorilla’s knee injury