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
Ray, a 17-year-old Gentoo, was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, shortly arriving at the zoo last year.
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.”
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.
The Penguin Camera is located on Torgersen Island (64°46’S, 64°04’W), off the coast of Anvers Island and less than a mile from Palmer Station. Torgersen Island is home to a colony of Adélie penguins numbering approximately 2,500. This camera is seasonal and operates primarily from October to February, the Adélie breeding season. The camera is solar-powered and may sometimes experience brief outages due to inclement weather. School classrooms and other educational demonstrations will often take control of the camera, moving it to gain better views of the colony.