Elephant May Get Contact Lenses

C'Sar, an elephant at the North Carolina Zoo, showed signs of not being able to see. The problem was cataracts, which were removed surgically. C'sar perked up amazingly well after his sight was restored, but zookeepers suspect he is now farsighted. One possible solution that veterinarians are contemplating is to fit him with contact lenses.
After having CSar, the North Carolina Zoo’s 38-year-old elephant, undergo two rare surgeries to correct cataracts, caretakers at the zoo and a team of veterinarians from North Carolina State University are considering whether to get the  elephant corrective lenses, which would make  CSar  the first elephant ever to receive contacts.

But they fear the risks of the contact lenses could outweigh the benefits.

“It’s never been used before in an elephant or in many animal species, and so it’s a little bit difficult for us to predict how it would affect him,” said  Richard McMullen, assistant professor of veterinary ophthalmology at North Carolina State University. McMullen performed both of C’Sar’s cataract surgeries.

The decision won't be made until this fall at the earliest. Link -via The Week

(Image credit: College of Veterinary Medicine, John T. Conte/AP Photo)

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I can't believe they'd want to fit the elephant with contact lenses (that you have to replace regularly and get the animal to cooperate) when they could just do laser surgery ONCE and be done.
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Many doctors doing laser eye surgery got into it because the side effects of contacts tend to be more prevalent and worse than people expect. Probably the same goes for elephants.

They ought to get the software guys to re-do the algorithms for elephant eyes.
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