The endangered Asiatic lion’s ears were cleaned to prevent ear infection.
An endangered lion has been treated by specialist veterinary surgeons at London Zoo to clear out the 174kg feline’s ears.
Bhanu, a 13-year-old Asiatic lion, now receives annual health-checks and ear-cleanings after a CAT scan last year discovered that his unusually narrow ear canals were causing him ear infections, and preventing eardrops reaching the problem.
He is also prescribed regular inflammatory and anti-fungal medication.
Before his treatment, thanks to expert training, Bhanu chose to calmly present his leg so that the anaesthetic could be administered. He soon drifted to sleep under a cooling blanket.
To complete the procedure, a specialist endoscopy camera the size of a pipe-cleaner was used to give the veterinary surgeons a good view of his ears, allowing them to thoroughly clear the passage and administer medication to target the cause.
The procedure was completed by the Zoological Society of London’s veterinary team, the Royal Veterinary College and veterinary equipment specialists STORZ.
London Zoo veterinary surgeon Stefan Saverimuttu said: “This yearly check-up helps us to provide the very best care for Bhanu’s ears, but also means we can monitor his overall health at the same time - checking his eyes, teeth and heart are all in tip top condition too.
This is vital for Bhanu, but also for his species; Bhanu is an important member of the European-wide breeding programme for Endangered Asiatic lions, designed to protect a healthy and genetically diverse population in conservation zoos across Europe.”
After waking up from his anaesthetic, Bhanu was soon back to prowling around his Land of the Lions home with lioness Arya. The team will continue to monitor Bhanu’s ear over the coming months and will perform another ear clean next year.
Image (C) Zoological Society of London