Blind Seal Can See Again!

Fresno Chaffee Zoo's Harbor seal, "Buck," had surgery on both eyes to remove cataracts that left him blind, and now he can see once again!

Over the last several years, Buck has had bilateral severe cataracts in both eyes, a common complication of old age with pinnipeds, said Terri Mejorado, Fresno Chaffee Zoo's Director of Marketing and Development.

Last year, one of the cataracts started to shift in one of his eyes. Zoo veterinarian Dr. Lewis Wright decided to have the cataracts removed, Mejorado said.

The 4 1/2 hour procedure was a success; a team of veterinary specialists was able to remove both cataracts, Mejorado said. Buck was placed off exhibit for three weeks allowing time for his eyes to heal.

"When Buck came out of anesthesia, it was immediately obvious that he could see again" said Assistant Curator Lyn Myers. "It was amazing to see him respond to past training behaviors such as holding up a flipper when shown."

Buck is now back out on exhibit and doing great.

Photos provided by the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.