An injured male wallaby underwent surgery to have its right eye removed this morning at Honolulu Zoo after being brought there Friday evening.
Zoo veterinarian Emma Kaiser performed the surgery to remove the animal’s right eye in a process known as enucleation, which leaves the eye muscles and remaining orbital contents intact. During a thorough examination of the animal, veterinarians determined the wallaby may have suffered the eye injury during a fight with another animal, but it’s unlikely that it was struck by a vehicle in the Halawa area as initially reported Friday.
The wallaby is now recovering from surgery and is currently in stable condition. Zoo officials say it will take some time for the wallaby to recover and the animal will not be released back into the wild.
The wallaby was initially found Friday afternoon near the Halawa Correctional Facility, and taken to the zoo by state Department of Agriculture personnel, as reported earlier in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. It is likely the same one spotted near the prison on Valentine’s Day.
“Although the Honolulu Zoo is not designated as a refuge for injured animals, our staff was more than willing to help this particular wallaby to ensure its survival,” said zoo director Linda Santos. “This is another example of the zoo stepping up to help an animal that was suffering and in need of some critical medical care.”
Officials at the Honolulu Zoo are looking into the long-term care of the wallaby as it completes its recovery. Options include keeping it at the Honolulu Zoo, or transporting it to another zoo where it can be well cared for. A decision on the wallaby’s future home has not been made yet.