Putting the see in sea lion

A beloved Scottish safari park mammal suffering from keratitis is on the mend after undergoing major eye surgery


An ageing sea lion has gained a new lease of life after undergoing major eye surgery to treat keratitis.

Blair Drummond Safari Park resident, Bella, is recovering after the procedure, which is the second major eye surgery she has undergone in two years.

During the first surgery, in 2016, the left lens was removed from Bella’s left eye.

In the latest operation, the 22-year-old Californian sea lion was operated on by veterinarian specialist ophthalmologist, Claudia Hartley, and Andrew Greenwood, of the International Zoo Vet Group.

Sea lion department head, Nikki Morrison, told OT that Bella was eating and interacting well with the rest of the sea lion group two weeks after the major surgery.

“Bella has blown us all away with how resilient she is,” she highlighted.

“Although her vision is limited, it appears she can actually still see and manoeuvre her surroundings reasonably comfortably,” Ms Morrison added.

The oldest living Californian sea lion recorded in the wild is 17.