Surgery allows blind orangutan to see her babies

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 file photo, Gober, an elderly female Sumatran orangutan who is blind in both eyes due to cataracts, lies down with her twin babies at a rehabilitation center in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Formerly blind Gober can see her baby twins for the first time after undergoing cataract surgery in the first such operation in Indonesia. (Binsar File / Associated Press)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A formerly blind Sumatran orangutan can see her baby twins for the first time after undergoing cataract surgery in the first such operation in Indonesia.

The orangutan, named Gober, was captured for her own safety in late 2008 in North Sumatra province after she went blind in both eyes due to cataracts. She gave birth to the twins in early 2011 as part of a breeding program.

Doctors at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program in the provincial capital of Medan performed the cataract surgery on the 40-year-old animal on Monday. They announced the successful results late Thursday.

Doctors first performed cataract surgery on an orangutan in Malaysia in 2007.

Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered, with only about 6,600 left in the wild.

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