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Penguins Receive ‘World First’ Custom Eye Lenses

Three elderly king penguins in Singapore received custom intraocular lens implants to improve eyesight.

Mandai Wildlife Group
Mandai Wildlife Group

A recent CNN article covered a feel-good story in which elderly penguins received custom-made eye lenses to improve eyesight. Veterinarians at the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore successfully performed the cataract surgery on three king penguins, marking the first time such a procedure has been performed in Southeast Asia. The first surgery was done to remove a cataract in the right eye of a 28-year-old king penguin named MoMo, who had been showing signs of impaired vision.

The team of vets used specialized equipment and techniques to ensure the safety and comfort of the penguins during the 30-minute surgery. The birds were anesthetized and placed in a sterile environment to prevent infection. The surgeries were successful, and the penguins are recovering, with the expectation that they will regain full use of their eyes. The Jurong Bird Park is home to roughly 3,500 birds and goes above and beyond to ensure their wellbeing. A previous rescue effort included fitting a hornbill with cancer with a 3D-printed prosthetic beak.

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