Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Orangutan cataract surgery declared a success

cataract orangutanVolunteers on Real Gap’s Orangutan Experience volunteer programme in Malaysia had an unexpected treat last week when they witnessed the world’s first ever cataract operation performed on an orangutan.

19yr old Aman, a dominant male, is the first orangutan in the world to undergo bilateral cataract surgery. He had been virtually blind for 10 years after developing cataracts in both eyes.

After the three hour long surgery last week (undertaken by the local coalition conservation initiative, the Great Orangutan Project), Aman's operation was pronounced a success and has brought his rehabilitation into the wild a step closer. He will now be able to see his children for the first time. Specialist animal ophthalmologist Dr Izak Venter from South Africa declared “Aman has clearly regained the use of his sight and will be suitable for return to his usual activities.” Aman is now enjoying post- operative animal care at the Matang Wildlife Centre in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Story here.

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