Cataract surgery helps Singapore Zoo's 60-year-old orangutan see again

The skilled hands of Associate Professor Lee Shu Yen manoeuvre the Utrata forceps during the surgery to create an opening in the anterior lens capsule to access Jojo the orangutan’s cataract.
The skilled hands of Associate Professor Lee Shu Yen manoeuvre the Utrata forceps during the surgery to create an opening in the anterior lens capsule to access Jojo the orangutan’s cataract. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Jojo, Singapore Zoo's senior Bornean orangutan, can see clearly again, thanks to a successful cataract surgery performed in February.

Blind in one eye and suffering from advanced cataract in the other, the 60-year-old primate had not been able to see his surroundings clearly for years, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a press release on Wednesday (April 12).

The surgery was done by veterinarians from WRS, who teamed up with the National Eye Centre's (SNEC) Professor Lee Shu Yen, senior consultant and deputy head of the centre's Surgical Retina Department, and Senior Resident Dr Noor Affizan.


Jojo's cornea is clear immediately after the surgery, and the cataract has been replaced with a new transparent intraocular lens. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE 

WRS added that SNEC donated the surgical microscope used in the procedure for future eye surgeries, orthodontic work and microsurgeries on its living animals.

It was also an opportunity for Jojo to be given a full health check, and he was found to be of decent health for his age.

He has since switched to a geriatric diet.