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Elephant gets contact lens

Jan. 26, 2012 at 1:11 PM

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A 45-year-old Asian elephant at a Netherlands zoo has become the first of her species in Europe to be outfitted with a contact lens.

Officials with the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam said the elephant, Win Thida, had to undergo surgery and be outfitted with a contact lens after her eye was badly injured during a fight with another elephant, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

"I was called in when the zoo reported that Win Thida's eye was painful and streaming," veterinarian Anne-Marie Verbruggen said. "The main difficulty was her height. Elephants can't lie down for long before their immense weight impairs their breathing, so I used a ladder to get close enough. It wasn't ideal, but it worked. She seemed happier straight away."

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