Thursday, January 10, 2013

Penguin seeing clearly thanks to rare procedure

David Boushy and Tamara Elliott, Global News : Wednesday, January 09, 2013

CALGARY- A penguin at the Calgary Zoo is seeing a lot more clearly now, thanks to a delicate procedure at the hands of a group of caring professionals.

Ray, a 17-year-old Gentoo, was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, shortly arriving at the zoo last year.

“In the water he was regularly out-swum by the other birds, he was out-competed when it came to feeding because he couldn't see the fish in the water,” says Dr. Malu Celli, curator of the penguin exhibit. “The vets noticed that he had a cloudiness, a milkiness to his eyes, which is a very clear indication that he's got cataracts.”

So in November, a specialty clinic veterinarian led a team to perform the two-and-a-half hour surgery. The operation has a high success rate, but requires extreme precision.

“It is a delicate procedure that requires micro-surgery and microsurgical techniques, and we use an operating microscope to have good magnification,” explains Dr. Kelli Ramey. “We do use the same equipment and techniques on humans, but with some modifications based on the species.”

The surgery was a success, and Ray has been gradually adjusting to life with clear vision. While he hasn’t caught his first fish yet, he is swimming more.
Video available at source

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