Endangered macaque gets new lease on life, with cataract surgery

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - An endangered monkey at the Reid Park Zoo can see a lot better now, thanks to a local ophthalmologist.

Thelma is a lion-tailed macaque, zoo officials stated that due to glaucoma in one eye and a cataract in the other she was in a lot of pain and losing her vision a little more each day.

According to zoo officials she was having a difficult time finding her food and water.  A zoo veterinarian recommended she get surgery, from a human doctor.  That is where Dr. William Fishkind steps in.

Dr. Fishkind donated his time and skills to make sure that Thelma could see again.

"This was the first monkey I operated on,"  said Dr. Fishkind in a phone interview.  "To be honest, I wasn't sure what I was going to encounter. It is so wonderful to be able to help an aging animal that seemed doomed to death, to be able to help that animal see and survive."

Zoo officials say Thelma is doing better now, she is back out on display and eating and drinking more, in addition she is climbing higher than she used to.

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