Saturday 20 January 2018

Crane lifted by cataract operation

Dennis, a three-year-old Eurasian crane in Norfolk, who has become the first crane in the UK known to have been successfully operated on for cataracts.
Dennis, a three-year-old Eurasian crane in Norfolk, who has become the first crane in the UK known to have been successfully operated on for cataracts.
Dennis, a three-year-old Eurasian crane in Norfolk, who has become the first crane in the UK known to have been successfully operated on for cataracts.

A three-year-old crane has been given a new lease of life after successfully undergoing eye surgery.

Dennis, a three-year-old Eurasian crane at the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust in Norfolk, had been exhibiting unusual behaviour, including spending a lot of time alone, and losing weight.

A specialist eye examination detected Dennis's fuzzy vision and he underwent a cataract operation, thought to be the first of its kind carried out on a crane in the UK.

Chrissie Kelley, head of species management at the trust, said: "Before the operation he was unable to see much more than silhouettes but now has restored vision and is doing well."

Dennis's odd behaviour had meant he could not be released into the wild but he is now said to be thriving at the reserve.

The successful operation to restore the sight in both of his eyes was carried out by veterinary ophthalmologist David Gould at Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire.

Mr Gould said: "I am used to performing cataract surgery in dogs and cats, and occasionally in more exotic species, but this was the first crane that I have ever operated on.

"The cataract surgery was very successful and post-operatively Dennis appears much more confident now that he has regained vision."

Damon Bridge, from the Great Crane Project which aims to restore healthy populations of wild common cranes throughout the UK, welcomed the news.

"To find out that he was suffering with cataracts and then to have his sight fully restored is just fantastic. It must be a huge relief for him," he said.

Press Association

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