On Saturday afternoon, our resident veterinarian examined Bolo along with an external veterinarian with baboon experience. The primary complaint was that Bolo, who was recovered from a SA Navy dockyard in Simons Town by NCC, was suspected to be blind.
On initial examination, Bolo presented quite thin and hungry. He displayed right-sided blepharospasm (the eye was squinted), which impeded his vision. He was not able to move freely or forage due to his impeded vision.
After being sedated and placed under general anaesthesia for further clinical examination, we found his left eye had severe cataracts which likely limited his sight to movement and very close surroundings. There is no evidence to support any significant sight from the left eye and our veterinary opinion is “The left eye is permanently impaired and will not improve”. The skin surrounding the right eye was bruised and the outcomes of imaging and clinical examination indicated trauma. Trauma may have been caused by an altercation with another male, with humans (unlikely in veterinary opinion) or from falling. The right eye infection is problematic and will require prolonged therapy.
We will continue to treat and monitor Bolo over the next few days, however, we remain concerned about his wellbeing and quality of life prospects. His impaired vision will put him at an obvious disadvantage and he is likely to get hurt and be bullied, attacked by other males, killed by predators or struck by moving cars.