Elephant Fitted for Contact Lens

Elephant gets contact lens

Anne-Marie Verbruggen places a contact lens in the left eye of Win Thida, a 44-year-old Asian elephant at the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam. Photo by Artis Zoo.

Did you know that contact lenses are not just for people?  At the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam, Netherlands, veterinarian Anne-Marie Verbruggen fitted an Asian elephant with a special contact lens.  The 44-year-old elephant, named Win Thida, suffered from a scratched cornea after fighting with another elephant.  The contact lens will protect the eye while it heals.

This was the first time Verbruggen fitted an elephant with a contact lens, however, she has had experience giving horses contact lenses.  With the elephant, the challenge was with the massive size and weight of the animal.  According to Verbruggen, “Elephants can’t lie down for long before their immense weight impairs their breathing, so I used a ladder to get close enough. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked. She seemed happier straight away.”

For more information, see Spiegel Online.

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