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注冊日期 : 2023-01-02

Singapore: The first cataract operation on penguins ever performed Empty Singapore: The first cataract operation on penguins ever performed

周六 3月 18, 2023 10:27 am
They were brought in air-conditioned vans, sitting in buckets of ice to keep them cold, from the largest aviary in Asia.

The three king penguins and three humboldt penguins arrived at a clinic in Singapore's eastern region after a short 30-kilometer (19-mile) drive.

A five-person veterinary team was waiting to carry out what is believed to be a first for penguins worldwide—a delicate eye treatment.

Before obtaining specialized intraocular lens implants, the sextet had its hazy lenses from cataracts removed. Cataracts are a typical age-related ailment that develop in geriatric animals and impair their vision.

According to the Mandai Wildlife Group, the lenses took roughly two months to construct and were made in Germany to precisely suit each penguin's eye (MWG). The organization oversees four Singaporean wildlife parks that house 21,000 animals from approximately 1,000 different species.

Dr. Ellen Rasidi, a veterinarian with MWG, stated, "We saw the cloudiness in their lens and [that] they were moving about like they were having difficulties seeing things in front of them.

The penguins had to remain out of the water and in a different den from the rest of their colony for a short while following the incident. Also, twice daily eye drops were given out.

The underwater flightless birds can now see clearly, with a considerable rise in responsiveness and activity levels, almost three months after the treatment, which took up to 2.5 hours for each penguin.

MWG has already performed cataract operations on elderly animals including sea lions and orangutans. In order to cure a potentially fatal foot ailment, it has also implemented advances like printing 3D protective shoes for raptors.

Yet the procedure's principal veterinarian, Dr. Gladys Boo, believes that it is probably the first instance in which penguins have successfully undergone intraocular lens implants, constituting a "milestone" in veterinary medicine.

We chose to pursue this world-first surgery because, being a larger species, king penguins have stable, huge eyeballs that can retain the custom lenses in place, explained Dr. Boo, one of only three South-East Asians to be certified by the prestigious American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

The particular traits of penguins, such as a third eyelid that protects their eyes underwater but had a propensity to close during the procedure, hampered the procedure.

MWG refuses to disclose the surgery's cost but stated that it was done to enhance the penguins' quality of life.

Dr. Boo made the first diagnosis for the penguins while performing examinations in August of last year as part of the MWG's senior animal care plan, which has been offering specialized care for elderly animals since 2017.

For 361 elderly animals, it entails more frequent health examinations, special meals, and certain changes to their exhibitions. Options include lowering elderly bird perches for easier access and enhancing favorite resting spots with additional cushioning or bedding.

The penguins are housed at Singapore's Jurong Bird Park, a well-liked tourist destination with 5,000 different bird species.

King penguins are the second-largest of their kind in the world and are native to the South Atlantic and South Indian Ocean, whereas Humboldt penguins are found in South America. While the latter normally survive for 15 to 20 years, the former can live up to 40 years in captivity.

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