OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Zoo says one of the oldest animals at the zoo underwent eye surgery last month.
Zoo officials say Cindy, the OKC Zoo’s oldest chimpanzee, was involved in an incident while outside in her habitat with her troop that resulted in her experiencing vision loss.
The zoo’s veterinary team performed an eye exam and after monitoring Cindy for a few days realized she was having significant challenges with her vision. The team consulted Dr. R. Michael Siatkowski, an ophthalmologist with Dean McGee Eye Institute about performing a visual assessment on Cindy.
Siatkowski performed a visual acuity test, which is the same as reading an eye chart for humans, on Cindy at the Zoo’s Great EscApe habitat. Using Teller acuity cards designed for infants, young children and non-verbal humans, Siatkowski confirmed that Cindy’s vision had decreased in both eyes. Her vision is currently equivalent to a 3-month-old human infant.
At 52, Cindy is a geriatric animal and her caretakers have modified her daily routine to accommodate her diminished vision.
Zoo staff say Cindy continues to be in good spirits, enjoying her favorite treats and training with her caretakers.