Posted: Nov 30, 2019 / 02:56 PM EST / Updated: Nov 30, 2019 / 02:56 PM EST
XINING, CHINA (CNN) A wild snow leopard found injured and unable to see has had its vision restored after Chinese veterinarians removed a cataract in what they say is a world-first surgical procedure.
Linghan, a snow leopard believed to be over 11 years old, went under the knife on November 26 in the city of Xining, in the northwestern province of Qinghai. It is the first time a snow leopard has had the procedure, according to Zhang Qi Xin, assistant director of Xining Zoo.
Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.
During the procedure, which lasted for about three hours, an intraocular lens was implanted in Linghans right eye after the cataract was removed.
There are about 2,500 snow leopards in China, according to Xining Zoo officials.
Linghans sight is expected to be restored in about a month.The experience weve earned from this surgery brings great benefits to our future wild animal rescue missions, Zhang said.
This is a very important surgery for the leopard, Zhang said. Even without eyesight, it can still survive in the zoo. However, to ...