The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Timbo, The Gorilla Receives Eye Surgery

Timbo is considered a senior citizen among the great apes at the Dallas Zoo. So, when the 47-year-old gorilla needed eye surgery keepers at the Dallas Zoo knew it could be risky.

When keepers noticed Timbo wasn't recognizing her food and was easily startled by the two other gorillas in her enclosure, zoo officials called on Dr. R. Wayne Bowman, a Dallas eye doctor with over 25 years of ophthalmology experience.

"You could look at her eyes and tell. You could see the cloudy film over the eyes," said Tami Jochum, senior mammal keeper.

Dr. Bowman was understandably anxious about performing cataract surgery on the female gorilla.

"She was a good patient," said Bowman. "I was pretty nervous at first. When you see her and meet her, you feel this greater sense of responsibility than when you're working on a human."

Still pictures show the story of this remarkable and risky surgery. The procedure was only the second surgery of its kind in the United States.

The surgery was almost identical to that of human cataract surgeries, Bowman said. He took all of the usual measurements and used artificial lenses to improve Timbo's vision. The cataract surgery was a success.

The surgery was a life upgrade for Timbo, who can now see the people who come to visit her better than ever.

"She's especially oriented towards kids, especially towards babies," Jochum said. Timbo has never had her own baby.

Source and Video


  1. I had the good luck to work in the san diego zoo, children's zoo. 1960-1969. Timbo was in my care with two other gorilla youngsters, Mimbo and Junior. Timbo was a bit of a shy girl. I remember one time she was watching me eating life savers, the very minty flavor. She kept asking for one, reaching out with her hand and such. I did give her one and she spent some time with it in her mouth. I think it was just too minty, because she handed it back, and never asked again. Every nite I would put a her food in her cage ( things were so primitive then ). She would take her grapes and hand them to me. I would give them back and she would eat. One day I ate one, she didn't wait for me to hand them back, she just grabbed them and traveled to the back of her cage with a look that seemed to say, " you broke the trust". she was great, I am so glad to read she is well. I was just in Dallas, wished I had known she was there I would love to see her again.

  2. Aw Judy, what a wonderful story, thank you for sharing this with us. What a great experience and honor that must have been to be able to care for such great individuals. I'm glad you were able to find Timbo after all of these years and to know that she is doing well.