Rhino Gets 'Life-Changing' Eye Surgery at English Zoo

An English zoo has released behind-the-scenes footage of a rhino’s “life-changing” eye surgery to mark World Rhino Day.

The footage, by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, shows Hugo, a 19-year-old greater one-horned rhino, having cataracts removed on August 5.

The one-and-a-half-ton rhino had to be tranquilized by dart with an anesthetic that was “strong enough to kill 14 people,” the zoo said.

The zoo said keepers first noticed issues with Hugo’s eyesight when he started bumping into logs and other things in his paddock.

“An examination found that the lenses in his eyes had become cloudy, and had drastically impacted Hugo’s eyesight, so the zoo’s vets called on the services of specialist veterinary ophthalmologist, Claudia Hartley, to perform cataract surgery – the first time the procedure had ever been performed on the species at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo,” the zoo said.

“Since the operation, Hugo has recovered brilliantly, and is able to see again,” the zoo’s senior veterinary officer, Dr Fieke Molenaar, said. "It’s wonderful to be part of such a life-changing operation, and even better to see Hugo back out and about, not bumping into things anymore. We’re elated about it, and I’m sure Hugo is too.” Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo via Storyful

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