Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gorilla regains sight in ground-breaking operation by Bristol Zoo Gardens

12.04.2002



Romina, a female Western lowland gorilla at Bristol Zoo Gardens, has successfully undergone pioneering surgery to restore her sight in the first ever cataract operation performed in Europe on an adult gorilla. Born with cataracts, 21-year-old Romina underwent the two-hour procedure at the University of Bristol`s Veterinary Hospital in March and, for the first time in her life, she can now see the world around her clearly.
Romina was born at Rome Zoo and hand-reared. Before her arrival in the UK in November 2001, Bristol Zoo Gardens were notified of concerns about her eyesight. Health checks carried out by Head of Veterinary Services at Bristol Zoo Gardens, Sharon Redrobe, revealed that she had cataracts in both eyes, allowing only minimal peripheral vision.

Jenny Watts, a medical ophthalmologist from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester carried out the delicate surgery assisted by veterinary ophthalmologist David Gould, from the University of Bristol.


With only a handful of operations of this kind having been carried out on gorillas before, and this the first of its kind in Europe, the team lacked basic information such as the exact structure of a gorilla`s eye. Although this operation is usually carried out on conscious patients in human medicine, accurate anaesthesia was critical to ensure that the 120kg gorilla remained completely unconscious throughout the operation.

The majority of the operation was taken up by detailed ultrasound measurements of the eye to calculate the strength of the artificial lens required. A process called phaco-emulsification was used to break up the cloudy cataract by ultrasound, so that it could be removed prior to the insertion of the foldable silicon artificial lens - exactly the same procedure carried out in human cataract surgery.

Following the successful outcome of this first operation, a second cataract operation is planned to restore Romina`s bilateral vision. Sharon Redrobe, Bristol Zoo Garden`s vet, said: "As soon as Romina came round from the operation we could tell that she could see. She immediately reached towards food without resorting to feeling her way. We`re delighted that the operation has been so successful and that she is having the chance to explore her surroundings and companions properly for the first time."

Romina has now been reunited with her companions, 18-year-old silverback male Bongo and 25-year-old female Salome, after a period of post-operative recuperation - during which the risk of infection was the greatest concern. Melanie Gage, Overseer of Primates, explained: "We had to encourage Romina to come as close as possible to the keeping team so that we could safely give her antibiotic eye drops four times a day both before and following the operation. In the end, we devised a system of drizzling the solution through a catheter, so that the drops ran gently into her eye."

Romina and Bongo joined Salome at Bristol Zoo Gardens from Rome Zoo in November 2001 as part of the international conservation breeding programme for the western lowland gorilla. Dr Jo Gipps, Director of Bristol Zoo Gardens, explained: "It used to be thought that lowland gorillas were significantly more plentiful than their highly threatened cousins, mountain gorillas. Now, forest destruction for logging and the effect of the illegal bushmeat trade means that lowland gorillas face serious losses in the wild population. So Romina, Bongo and Salome are extremely important and we very much hope that they will go on to breed in the near future. With her convalescence over, visitors can see Romina and her companions on Bristol Zoo Gardens` Gorilla Island and find out more about these noble creatures.

"They can also learn about the Zoo`s conservation work to protect gorillas in the wild and the significant role we are playing in the European-wide Bushmeat Campaign to halt this illegal trade."

Joanne Fryer | alphagalileo

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit
21.08.2017 | Hokkaido University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular volume control

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

When fish swim in the holodeck

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>