Romain Pizzi, the vet who pioneered keyhole surgery for animals, has operated on sharks, chimps even a moon bear
In 2012, the conservation charity Free the Bears approached Romain Pizzi, one of the most innovative wildlife surgeons in Europe, with an unexpected patient. A professional in laparoscopic( keyhole) surgery- until very recently rare in veterinary medicine- Pizzi has operated on giraffes and tarantulas, penguins and baboons, giant tortoises and at least one shark, and maintains a reputation for taking on lawsuits others won’t. If you’re in control of a beast with gallstones, or a suspiciously sickly beaver, “youre calling” Pizzi. As Matt Hunt, CEO of Free the Bears says,” We have other veterinaries who are incredibly talented. But Romain is one of a kind .”
The patient in question was a three-year-old female Asiatic black make, also known as a moon bring, announced Champa. Moon bears, poached for their bile and bodyparts, are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Rescued as a babe and brought to a Free the Bears sanctuary in Laos, Champa had a deformed skull and impaired perception. While other permits would socialise, she would mope around her paddock, head down, seemingly in agony. Pizzi suspected “shes had” hydrocephalus, a rare situation in which plethora cerebrospinal liquid builds up in the skull, causing brain damage.
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