For the first time, cataract surgery has restored a falcon’s sight. A team of veterinarians and vision specialists from around the globe collaborated to restore sight to Banner, a four-year-old Lanner Falcon. The surgery was performed on Monday to restore Banner’s vision.
I’d taught her to come to the glove, and then she started missing. Soon she was coming to my knee or ankle.’
The bird lost her sight two years ago and hasn’t been able to fly or hunt since then. Banner’s owner Nancy Cowan says she first noticed something was wrong when training Banner. Cowan and her husband own a falconry in New Hampshire.
‘This is done in humans all the time, it’s just never been done in an animal. We didn’t just want to take up the cataract material. We wanted to replace it with a new lens.’
Dozens of people from Montreal to Ohio to Abu Dhabi were involved in the design of the artificial replacements for Banner’s cataract-stricken lenses.
The lenses were manufactured and donated by the Canadian company I-Med Pharma Inc. The operating theatre and expertise of the medical team were also donated. Banner now has to relearn how to relate to the world. Cowan and her husband are committed to helping Banner relearn how to relate to the world as a sighted bird.
‘If you have an animal, whether it’s a cat or dog or a bird, you feel responsible for its care and providing the best you can for it.’