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Josephine is a 42 year old, 160 pound gorilla that lives in Miami at the MetroZoo. She had severe cataracts that made her vision so blurry – they only allowed her to see shadows. The cataracts were impairing her vision to the point where her quality of life was becoming severely diminished.
Recently, Josephine underwent cataract surgery – which is a very common surgery for humans (especially here in South Florida) but, is extremely rare in gorillas (it has only been performed a handful of times). The surgery was very risky due to Josephine’s advanced age of 42 (gorillas usually live to around age 50) and the necessity to administer general anesthesia.
Josephine had top ranking human and veterinary Eye Doctors attending to her pre-op and her surgery. They were able to remove her cloudy lenses (cataracts) inside of her eyes and replace the old lenses with new, clear synthetic ones to hopefully restore the clarity of her vision once again.
Human Eye Doctor, Dr Frank Spektor, described her cataracts as “hard as baseballs” once they were removed from Joespine’s eyes. He also described the procedure as “Exhilarating….and exhausting.”