Zoo’s famed Komodo dragon has cataract surgery

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s beloved Komodo dragon, Hudo, had his sight restored after recent successful double cataract surgery at MedVet Cincinnati.

Hudo, the Cincinnati Zoo’s Komodo dragon, underwent eye surgery at MedVet Cincinnati.

“We noticed cloudiness in his left eye and less than two weeks later his right eye also became cloudy,” said Cincinnati Zoo reptile keeper Ryan Dumas.  “He stopped reacting to movement, and his behavior changed dramatically.  It was evident that he could not see.”

Komodo dragons are highly visual animals, and the Zoo’s veterinary and reptile teams agreed that being blind would diminish his quality of life.  Dr. Vanessa Kuonen Cavens, an ophthalmologist from MedVet, confirmed that the cloudy obstructions in Hudo’s eyes were cataracts and that corrective surgery was possible.

“Hudo is the most unique animal on whom I’ve performed cataract surgery,” Kuonen Cravens said.

The 17-year-old Hudo is the grandson of Naga, one of a pair of Komodo dragons that came to Cincinnati as a gift from President Suharto of Indonesia to U.S. President George W. Bush in 1990.


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