Rhino Cancer Treatment
The hippopotamus Lissa struggles to stay on his feet - and, believe me, these are far from small legs. A team of doctors, surgeons and specialists gathered at Lissa Aviary in Lion Country Safari. They brought her the drug and tried to maneuver all 3,500 pounds of the tottering beast into the center of her pen, away from her dunghill. She threw a black windbreaker over her eyes. Three adult men and one woman tried to jerk her to move with lasso around her neck.
Where it falls and will be their operating suite for the next three hours. Lissa has cancer.
1. Healthy Lissa with a whole horn in Lion Country Safari in 2007.
2. Lion Country Safari veterinarian, Dr. Elizabeth Hammond examines photos of Lissa’s tumor with Dr. Mike Mikolajshak, left, from Wellington Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Gordon Johnson, a former pathologist and member of the Wellington Regional Medical Center and Brian Dowling, general curator of Lion Country.
3. Dr. Mikolajshak sketches a surgical plan for removing a portion of a tumor from a rhinoceros horn.
4. Dr. Hammond carefully fills the syringe with etorphin, a drug 1000 times stronger than morphine. The drug is used for pain relief Lissa.
five.Zoo employee Jen Rucker, left, and assistant curator Kevin Morris are tightening control as they hold Lissa in place while curator Ashley Kandrakm waits for the 3,500-pound rhino to enter anesthesia for an operation.
6. Dr. Mikolajshak and Dr. Hammond operate Lissa in the pen.
7. Chelsea Anderson, DVM, hangs a drip for Lissa.
8. Neon pink paint behind Lissa's left ear marks the place where she got the powerful drug. This warns the team of surgeons not to touch this place where the medicine can seep at the injection site. Subsequent contact with medication may lead to respiratory failure.
9. On the syringe, the needle bends until Dr. Hammond tries to break into the bone to inject lidocaine into the horn.
10. Anderson connects Lissa to droppers.
11. Dr. Hammond and Dr. Mykolajshak are working to remove a cancerous tumor from Lissa’s horn.
12. Dr. Mikolajshak removes part of the horn to get to the cancer.
13. Dr. Hammond wears a protective mask while she works with Lissa.
14. Dr. Mikolajshak works with a chisel with a rhinoceros horn to get to the tumor.
15.Dr. Mikolajshak removes a piece of horn from his power tools.
16. Part of a rhino horn that has been removed.
17. Dr. Hammond injects cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug, into Lissa’s tumor.
18. Vet Ashley Ulrich and Dr. Hammond examine Lissa's X-rays. Lion Country Safari has its own portable X-ray machine.
19. Brian Dowling cools Lissa with water from a hose, and Dr. Hammond washes his hands with a disinfectant after the operation.
20. Charlene Tran, from ConMed Corporation in Delray Beach, rolls aside the cutter, which was used to remove part of Lissa’s horn. The company donated equipment for its use during surgery.
21. The Lion Country Safari team is pushing Lissa to help her to her feet after her fifth operation, April 14, 2014.
22. After a three-hour operation to remove part of the cancer, Lissa tries to stand up.
23. From right to left, Ashley Ulrich, Chelsea Anderson, Dr. Genevieve Dumonsya, Charlene Tran and Craig Van der Maid applaud and cheer Lissa, who rises to her feet after her fifth operation.