Two elderly penguins in Australia have become the first birds in the world to receive custom-made lenses as part of successful cataract surgery. The two Magellanic penguins, named Sphen and Magic, are both over 20 years old and had been struggling with poor vision due to cataracts.
The two birds were operated on by a team of veterinarians at Sea World Gold Coast, a marine mammal park in Australia. After the cataract lenses were created to perfectly fit the size and shape of each bird’s eye, the lenses were inserted into the eyes. The surgery was a success, and the team of veterinarians were pleased to see that the penguins’ vision improved significantly after the surgery.
The lenses are designed to last the lifetime of the two penguins, who are expected to live up to 30 years. The lenses will help the penguins to feed themselves, navigate their environment, and communicate with other penguins.
The surgery was a world first, and it was made possible thanks to the expertise of the veterinary team at Sea World and the help of a custom lens manufacturer. The team hopes that this success can be replicated for other species in need of similar surgeries.