Romain Pizzi, the veterinarian who pioneered keyhole surgery for animals, has operated on sharks, chimps even a moon bear
In 2012, the preservation benevolence Free the Bears approached Romain Pizzi, one of the most innovative wildlife surgeons in Europe, with an rare 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 honour for taking on events others won’t. If you’re in control of a beast with gallstones, or a suspiciously sickly beaver, you call Pizzi. As Matt Hunt, CEO of Free the Bears says,” We have other vets 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 birth, announced Champa. Moon produces, poached for their bile and bodyparts, are classified as susceptible 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 makes would socialise, she would mope around her paddock, leader down, seemingly in agony. Pizzi believed she had hydrocephalus, a rare circumstance in which excess cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the skull, making brain damage.
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