Jumbos also suffer from eye disorders like cataract, partial blindness:
May 12, 2022
One of the reasons that a Parliamentary panel chaired by Congress leader
Jairam Ramesh cautioned against encouraging the sale and purchase of
captive elephants hinged on the plight of the country’s largest mammal
which faces a range of eye-diseases/disorders such as cataract or corneal
Jumbos also often suffer from disorders in the retina, cornea, and lenses
that make the eye irreparable.Other ocular conditions that are common to
rescued elephants include uveitis (eye inflammation), keratitis
(inflammation of the cornea), and partial blindness. Older elephants are
more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections, while younger
elephants may develop corneal ulcers or keratitis, according to experts
from Wildlife SOS India.
No doubt, elephants may be known as the largest land mammal but when it
comes to their eyes, particularly those in captivity. According to wildlife
experts, other ocular conditions that are common to rescued elephants
include uveitis (eye inflammation), keratitis (inflammation of the cornea),
and partial blindness.
Older elephants are more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections,
while younger elephants may develop corneal ulcers or keratitis, according
to the experts from Wildlife SOS India.
Veterinary ophthalmology has not taken as many strides as other aspects of
veterinary medicine have. Thus, ocular diseases and disorders in animals
continue to be a field of exploration for many in India, a field our
veterinary team is willing to delve into.
“Currently, we are seeking funds for a tono pen, a tool used to determine
intraocular pressure. We are also seeking an eye ultrasound machine to help
us gain a deeper understanding of the eye health of our resident
elephants,” said the experts.
According to a survey and classify anterior ocular abnormalities in 1478
captive Asian elephants in six regions of Thailand, a few years ago, eyes
were found to be affected in the majestic jumbos..
Anterior ocular examination was performed in both eyes (n = 2956) of 1478
elephants selected from the annual health check program involving 2958
animals within six regions of Thailand from January to November 2013.
Lesions were described and compared between age and gender.
The most common lesions in the examined eyes of the jumbos were frothy
ocular discharge (5.85 per cent), corneal edema (5.31 per cent), and
conjunctivitis (5.18 per cent). In addition, epiphora, phthisis bulbi,
other corneal abnormalities, anterior uveitis, and lens abnormalities were
noted. Almost all lesions increased in frequency with age increase, said