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  Rare leopard in eye op to save sight
Updated 04 January 2002, 16.36
Jessei the leopard on the operating table
A rare leopard has had a risky operation to save his eyesight.

Jessei, a nine-year-old Amur leopard, needed the two-hour operation to remove cataracts from both of his eyes.

Cloudy eyesight

Cataracts are small particles which build up over the eye lens, making eyesight cloudy.

As they get worse sufferers can become blind, but these particles can be removed with a simple operation.

Jessei the leopard on the operating table
Jessei on the operating table
The condition can affect both humans and animals, but this is the first time this delicate operation has been performed on such a big cat.

Without the operation Jessei may have had to have been put down.

Endangered species

Jessei will return to his home in Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford, Oxfordshire where experts will watch his progress carefully.

He's an endangered species and is one of only 60 Amur leopards living in captivity.

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