Eye surgery to save rhino Hugo’s sight… ‘Life-changing operation’

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The 19-year-old greater one-horned rhinoceros had to have cataract surgery after he started bumping into logs and structures in his paddock at Whipsnade Zoo.

Rhinos can weigh more than 3.5 tons, so help was needed as Hugo was given enough anaesthetic to kill 14 people… before falling asleep.

Vet Dr Fieke Molenaar said: “We had to get every single keeper there to help roll him onto his left-hand side.

“After that, we had to carefully lift and position his head which is, in itself, incredibly heavy.”

The Bedfordshire zoo released footage of Hugo’s sight-saving op, which was a huge success.

Dr Molenaar said: “It’s wonderful to be part of such a life-changing operation and even better to see Hugo not bumping into things anymore.

“We’re elated and I’m sure Hugo is too.”

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