Blackpool’s Bornean orangutan has successfully undergone double surgery for the first time in UK history.
Vicky, Blackpool Zoo’s oldest female orangutan, at 30, had two operations performed by leading medical experts.
Both human and animal medical experts operated to alleviate severe congestion, caused by chronic sinusitis and air sacculitis suffered by Vicky.
The primate has gone under the knife before, last time during her stay at Chester Zoo in April 2014, while Blackpool Zoo had its new £1million orangutan enclosure built.
But this latest operation is the first time two surgeries have been carried out in one go.
And part of the operation was carried out by a surgeon more used to operating on humans - not animals.
Consultant ENT Surgeon, Jawed Tahery from Nuffield Health, The Grosvenor Hospital in Chester carried out functional endoscopic sinus surgery.
He said: “As an ear, nose and throat surgeon I have carried out this procedure many times, but it is very rare to get the opportunity to operate on an animal.
“The anatomy of an orangutan and a human are similar but the orangutan doesn’t have frontal and ethmoid sinuses and their bones are much harder.”
Zoo vets Karen Archer and Andrew Moore from Oakhill Veterinary Centre in Preston performed marsupialisation of the air sac.