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Colchester: Zoo penguin has cataract operation
A PENGUIN at Colchester Zoo has had her sight saved after undergoing a delicate operation.
Wellamy, 19, was referred to the Animal Health Trust after her keepers noticed that her sight was deteriorating.
Claudia Hartley, its head of ophthalmology, took a small team of vets out to the zoo who diagnosed Wellamy with severe cataracts in both eyes.
Surgery was the only option to restore her vision, so that she could continue to live at the zoo with her colony.
Steven Philp, a specialist in anaesthetising zoo animals, from the International Zoo Veterinary Group, was called in to assist the trust team.
After the op, Wellamy was kept in isolation for several weeks under the watchful eye of Colchester Zoo’s vet John Lewis, and keeper Kate Broad.
She said: “Wellamy was hatched here at the zoo so we’ve grown very close to her. She is a real character. We’re extremely pleased that thanks to the treatment she’s received, she will be able to live a much happier life.”
Ms Hartley added: “We have a history of working with exotic animals, including sealions, seals, bears, a dolphin, tiger, lioness, wallaby, golden eagle and an elephant, amongst others, but never before has my team treated a penguin.
"This was an amazing experience for us as vets, and it was great news for Wellamy and for Colchester Zoo that the operation was a success.”
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