Romain Pizzi, the veterinarian who pioneered keyhole surgery for animals, has operated on sharks, chimps even a moon bear
In 2012, the conservation donation Free the Bears approached Romain Pizzi, one of the most innovative wildlife surgeons in Europe, with an unexpected patient. A expert in laparoscopic( keyhole) surgery- until 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 occasions others won’t. If you’re in possession of a tiger with gallstones, or a suspiciously sickly beaver, you call Pizzi. As Matt Hunt, CEO of Free the Bears says,” We have other veterinarians who are incredibly talented. But Romain is one of a kind .”
The patient in question was a three-year-old female Asiatic pitch-black make, also known as a moon permit, announced Champa. Moon abides, poached for their bile and bodyparts, are classified as susceptible by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Rescued as a rookie and brought to a Free the Bears sanctuary in Laos, Champa had a deformed skull and impaired eyesight. While other births would socialise, she would mope around her enclosure, pate down, apparently in agony. Pizzi suspected she had hydrocephalus, a rare problem in which excess cerebrospinal liquid builds up in the skull, inducing brain damage.
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