King penguins largely resemble their bigger and extra ubiquitous kin, emperor penguins. They’re the second-largest of the world’s penguin species and are sometimes present in large colonies of birds, as giant as 200,000 robust. It’s straightforward to think about, then, that these majestic diving birds can be a treasured inhabitant of any zoo. Jurong Hen Park in Singapore, which is operated by Mandai Wildlife Reserve and is presently relocating and rebranding as bigger and extra complete park by the identify of “Hen Paradise,” has confirmed their devotion to a few of their beloved king penguins this yr with a ground-breaking new surgical procedure.
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The birds in query have been everywhere in the age of twenty, making them seniors amongst penguins. The surgical procedure was first conceived of when zookeepers and handlers observed that the three king penguins’ eyes had grown cloudy. Cataracts are a typical facet impact of ageing in lots of animals, together with many penguin species. King penguins can dwell so long as forty years in captivity, however the imaginative and prescient points introduced on by these cataracts have been impacting the birds’ exercise degree, which might influence their lifespan as effectively. The cataract surgical procedure was thought-about as a strategy to give these three king penguins, in addition to three of the zoo’s Humboldt penguins, a brand new lease on life.
Every of the penguins acquired a custom-made intra-ocular lens implant; basically, a man-made alternative lens designed particularly for the person penguin using exact eye measurements to make sure that the lens was a very good match.
The surgical procedure is unprecedented and represents a step ahead for avian veterinary drugs and veterinarian ophthalmology. As a result of third eyelids which penguins have to be able to defend their eyes underwater, the process was delicate and required the utmost precision.
Submit-surgery, the penguins underwent a restoration interval throughout which they needed to be handled with eye drops and weren’t allowed to enter the water. Following this era of therapeutic, which was a hit, they have been capable of return to their ordinary actions. In line with zookeepers, the penguins who underwent the surgical procedure demonstrated elevated exercise post-surgery, indicating that the surgical procedure was profitable in enhancing their imaginative and prescient and high quality of life.
This isn’t the primary time that Jurong Hen Park tried one thing ground-breaking to be able to enhance the lifetime of one among their birds. In 2018, an important pied hornbill named Jary developed a cancerous gash in its casque. Jurong Hen Park acknowledged the risk that this type of most cancers posed and sprang into motion. Jary’s casque, and the extensively cancerous tissue beneath it, was eliminated and changed with a custom-made 3D printed prosthetic which allowed Jary to defeat this aggressive type of most cancers.
As new applied sciences develop, it’s thrilling to see all the purposes that they will have as regards to treating injured or sick birds, enhancing high quality of life, or normal conservation practices.
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