Wono, a California sea lion residing at Dolphins Plus since 1992, began to lose her sight a little over a year ago. The husbandry and training staff consulted with Dr. Carmen Colitz and her renowned surgical team. It was determined that Wono was suffering from the onset of cataracts, a natural disorder affecting aging sea lions. Two pre-surgical evaluations were performed to ensure her suitability for surgery.
A carefully designed training plan was implemented for a year prior to the surgery. Dolphins Plus staff converted Wono’s dry resting area into a fully enclosed climate controlled recovery room. The team slowly acclimated Wono to be comfortable spending increasing amounts of time in her enclosed dry resting area. Dr. Colitz prescribed a three-week rehabilitation period where Wono would need to remain dry and cool. This was done to reduce the risk of postoperative ophthalmic infection.
On Saturday the 22nd of October, at 8:30 a.m., the surgical team sedated and anesthetized Wono. Dr. Colitz felt the three and a half hour procedure was successful and without complications. Wono was returned to her recovery room and removed from anesthesia.