Vets Remove 5cm Claw From Lions Eye After Fight With Brother

These photos show how vets find and remove a five-centimetre-long claw from the eye of a lion they were examining for conjunctivitis after it apparently fought with its brother.

The elderly African lion is one of three brothers kept in an enclosure in the 59-acre Wuppertal Zoo in the western Germany city of the same name.

Despite the animals’ advanced age, the zoo said they lead an active social life and fights break out between them from time to time, resulting in scratches and minor injuries.

Recently, zookeepers at the centre, founded in 1879, noticed the eye of one of the lions, named Massino, was watering profusely. Over the following days, he developed conjunctivitis.

Credit: Grune Zoo Wuppertal/Newsflash
Lion Massino from the Wuppertal Zoo had whole claw in his left eye for several days after one of his two brothers apparently had fought with him.

A small white strip also appeared on the rim of his lower eyelid, and vets at the zoo were unsure what it was. They decided to examine Massimo more closely so they anaesthetised him.

When Massimo lost consciousness, the vets realised the strip was the upper edge of a hard foreign body stuck in his conjunctiva.

It was removed with tweezers and found to be a five-centimetre- (2-in-) long claw that was embedded deep in the conjunctiva.


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The zoo staff believe Massimo got into a fight with one of his brothers and suffered a blow to the eye, with the claw being pulled out and remaining in place.

Despite the apparent seriousness of the injury, Massimo’s eye was undamaged and after cleaning around the area, the problem was resolved in just a few minutes.

Massimo’s conjunctivitis then cleared up over the next few days, according to the zoo’s press statement obtained by Newsflash.

Massimo is now back with his brothers towards whom he reportedly harbours no hard feelings.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: William McGeeSub-EditorJames King, Agency: Newsflash

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