We spent a fabulous day over on the Isle of Wight having been asked by the zoo vet, Matt Twitchett, to give an opinion on some big cats' eyes.
The zoo staff were amazing and so knowledgeable about their animals. The Isle of Wight Zoo has been taking in big cats from other centres around the UK and providing them with a excellent level of care.
We were asked to look at Zena, a white tigress, who had lost her right eye 5 years ago as they were concerned that her vision in the remaining left eye was reducing. She was a very patient lady who let us do an extensive examination of her eye while she was awake but we still needed to anaesthetise her to complete a full exam. She is so well trained that she let Matt give the anaesthetic in a similar fashion to a domestic moggy!
Once asleep we were able to ultrasound her eye and examine the deeper structures. Thankfully we could not find anything that was not treatable and we look forward to being able to help Zena in the future.
We also saw another tigeress, a lioness and two jaguars. They were patient enough to allow us to check their eyes although we did have to sacrifice a fluffy microphone cover to keep the lioness, Narla, still for long enough.
We would like to say a big thank you to the zoo for this exciting opportunity and we hope to have further updates as we go along.
Click on the links below to see some pictures