Flamingo gets rare eye surgery with teeny, tiny medical tools

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CENTRAL POINT, Oregon - A flamingo can see much better these days after her vision was restored in a very rare procedure.

Catalina is a Chilean flamingo who lives at Oregon's Wildlife Safari.

Employees noticed the 32-year-old bird began stumbling around at night and realized she wasn't able to see clearly.

They called in a veterinary ophthalmologist who looked straight into Catalina's tiny eyes and knew the little pink lady was suffering from cataracts.

Dr. Cassandra Bliss has performed eye surgery on plenty of animals, but never on a flamingo, and never on eyes so small.

In fact, Bliss says this is only the second time that a flamingo cataract operation has ever been performed in the U.S.

"It's rarely done in this species. In fact it's only been done one other time in New York. But never on the west coast," Bliss told KOBI.

"When you speak to any ophthalmologist we are already using micro-surgical tools. That being said we have different sizes and this is definitely going to be the smallest."

The minuscule surgery was a giant success!

Catalina will recover for two weeks before being placed back with her flock.

Chilean flamingos can live up to 40 years in captivity, which gives the flamingo another eight years of eagle vision.

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