Check-up high as an elephant's eye for vet

Profile image for Western Morning News

By Western Morning News | Saturday, January 12, 2013, 06:30

An eye expert has given a four-tonne, 42 year-old patient the all-clear.

Duchess, Paignton Zoo's female African elephant, had a cataract removed from her left eye in the autumn.

Now, consultant ophthalmologist Jim Carter from Abbotskerswell Veterinary Centre and South Devon Referrals has given her a clean bill of health.

He said: "I am extremely pleased with the way it has gone.

"We have now stopped all of her eye drops and, while you can never be definite on these matters, at this stage I don't expect to have any further problems with the eye."

In 2011, Duchess's right eye was removed because of glaucoma. Cataracts had left her with limited sight in her other eye.

The zoo's vets decided to operate on this eye after a routine check-up showed her remaining vision was deteriorating due to the formation of cataracts.

The zoo's head of veterinary services, Ghislaine Sayers, said: "A great deal of planning and consultation took place before this procedure. Duchess's welfare was our main consideration. We couldn't have achieved such a great result without the co-operation and help of many people, to whom we are extremely grateful."

Senior keeper Jim Dicks, who has cared for Duchess for many years, said: "I am absolutely over the moon. It couldn't have gone any better. Duchess can see so much more clearly now."

Meanwhile, a young male giraffe left the zoo yesterday.

Tonda, who will be three years old in February, is going to Chessington Zoo, part of Chessington World of Adventures, in Surrey.

Tonda was born to mother Janica and father Yoda in February, 2010.

At 4.3m in height he is now a young or sub-adult and ready to move on.



  • Profile image for dimondbabe

    Poor duchess! what a brave girl you are!!! hope youre feeling better now you can see again and well done to everyone at the zoo for looking after you!

    By dimondbabe at 12:40 on 15/01/13

max 4000 characters

Latest Stories in Paignton


Local Vouchers

  • Handmade Burger & A Beer

    The Palm Tree, Bistro & Cafe

    A Handmade Local Steak Burger served with chips & coleslaw with a bottle of beer for £10.50

    Terms: Valid between 1st October 2014 to 31st October 2014 not to be used with any other offer.

    Contact: 01803521035

    Valid until: Friday, October 31 2014

  • Free consultation for thread/spider vein, mole, skin tag and wart removal

    The Sanctuary Tanning & Beauty Salon Wellswood-Torquay

    Free consultation for thread/spider vein, mole, skin tag and wart removal

    Contact: 01803221072

    Valid until: Wednesday, October 15 2014

  • Think Indian ! Think Lavani 2 for 1 on Main Meals Offer - Monday to Thursday on Lunch & Dinner


    Take advantage of our Limited Edition THINK INDIAN! THINK LAVANI! 2 4 1 ON MAIN MEALS OFFER TODAY. Want to take up the Lavani Hell's Flame Eating Challenge? Visit for more details!

    Terms: -Monday to Thursday/One offer cannot be used in conjunction with other offer/Not valid on Fridays,Saturdays,Bank & Public Holidays and December/Maximum of 4 guest only/Bookings required/Sit-in only

    Contact: 01803203040

    Valid until: Monday, May 25 2015


Search for...

Min price is bigger than Max price
Min price is bigger than Max price
Min rent is bigger than Max rent