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Ear, Nose, Throat … and Lemur specialist?

Ear, Nose, Throat … and Lemur specialist?

Every day, doctors treat people of all shapes and sizes, young and old.
 
And while many will come across people with unusual body shapes or conditions, few would recall treating a patient who has fur.

DR DO-LITTLE

Perth Zoo recently needed the skills of an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist for one of their residents.
 
As this is not a typical area of vetinary expertise, a specialist was brought in—Dr Shyan Vijayasekaran.
 
It turns out Perth zoo sometimes bring in human specialists to treat their animals. This tends to happen when the patient is a primate due to our relative closeness to them.
 
In Dr Vijayasekaran’s case, this wasn’t his first called out by Perth Zoo.
 
His patient? A critically endangered resident of Perth Zoo’s main lake.
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Image|Perth Zoo
Maphuti is not your typical patient

LOOKING OUT FOR THE LEMUR

11-year-old Maphuti is a Black and White Ruffed Lemur who lives on the island in Perth Zoo’s main lake.
 
When checking up on the lemurs, a keeper noticed a strange lump on Maphuti’s nose.
 
He was sent to the vet department for a check-up, where they discovered a lump growing in Maphuti’s sinus.
 
It would need a delicate procedure to remove it.
 
Dr Vijayasekaran is also a paediatric specialist, used to working with small children, making him the perfect candidate to fix the lemur’s trouble.
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Image|Perth Zoo
Then again, Dr Shyan Vijayasekaran isn’t your typical specialist either.

Operation lemur

Prior to the operation, Dr Vijayasekaran joined a group from Perth Zoo to research how best to do the operation.
 
For the surgery, special equipment was brought in and the team were trained in lemur anatomy.
 
On the day of the procedure, everything went to plan—they found a fungal in Maphuti’s sinus.
 
The team were able to treat the fungul growth, following it up with medication to kill off the infection.
 
After his recovery, Maphuti was released back on to the island and has been in great health since.
Image|

Perth Zoo

Maphuti’s operation was a success and now he’s back on the island enjoying himself

Maphuti’s operation was a success and now he’s back on the island enjoying himself

Protecting from extinction

Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are critically endangered in the wild.
 
Their habitat is under threat due to destruction and deforestation.
 
Another problem is hunters, who track them to down to sell in the pet trade or as food.
 
Perth Zoo partnered with the Madagascan Fauna and Flora Group to to help protect the lemur along with native species in Madagascar.
 
As Maphuti and his lemur friends are animal ambassadors to the Zoo, they’re also charged with helping to raise awareness of the threat to the species.
 
The Perth Zoo’s Eye-to-eye encounters help fund the conservation and breeding effort for the species.
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