Anyone who takes it upon himself to be the guardian to 27 Sumatran elephants has to expect that problems, when they do occur, are going to be jumbo-sized.
Such was the case for Elephant Safari Park's owner, Nigel Mason, with two of his much loved pachyderms living at the Taro, Central Bali facility.
Pediatric Medicine for Elephants
The arrival of new elephants at the Park is always a cause for excitement. Recently, after a bureaucratic process that consumed two years and a grueling 5 day non-stop overland journey from Sumatra, 10 rescued elephants arrived at their new home in Bali. Included among the herd was an adorable 18-month-old orphaned female, Debbie whose already weakened condition, due to the long trip and the harsh situation of her former home, was further exacerbated by a severely infected abscess on her left cheek.
A surgical procedure requiring nearly 1.5 hours to compete was performed by the Park's head Veterinarian, Dr. Dewa Dharma, who happily reports that Debbie is well on the mend, enjoying her new, luxuriant jungle home.
In an Elephant's Eye
Another resident of the Park requiring medical attention was 37 year old Eva, who was largely blind in her right eye due to cataracts.
Unprepared to see any of his animals suffer unnecessarily, Nigel Mason approached Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia and Dr. Dharyata who has spent the past 14 years restoring the sight of nearing 17.500 poor people in Bali. Working through Mr. John Fawcett, the legendary Bali-based Australian who is the driving force behind the prevention and cure of blindness program on Bali, research was undertaken that indicated a corrective procedure would be possible.
Eventually a surgical team from the Indera Hospital, Dr. Dharyata, and the Park's Veterinarian Dr. Dharma acting as anesthesiologist assembled and performed a delicate two-hour operation that has successfully returned vision to Eva's eye.
The entire operation was filmed by the Australian TV program Current Affairs and shown to Australian audiences on September 23, 2004.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are photos of the surgical process performed on Debbie and Eva at the Bali Safari Park.
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