Israeli mask saves hurt rhino’s vision 

Mideast Israel Rhino - Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan treats Tanda,   a two-ton rhinoceros,   in the safari near Tel Aviv,   Israel,   Tuesday,   Nov. 4,   2014. Israeli specialists are helping Tanda,   who has a chronic eye infection,   to fend off flies that are worsening its condition with a custom made mask. Gueta credits the mask with saving the animals vision after years of failed conventional therapy including lotions and injections. (AP PhotoAriel Schalit)
ARIEL SCHALIT, Associated Press

Israeli specialists are easing the suffering of a two-ton rhinoceros with a chronic eye infection by creating a “no-fly zone” with a custom mask.

Neta Gueta of the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan helped design the mask that stops flies from laying eggs in the eye of the rhino named Tanda. Gueta said Tanda sometimes grew so frustrated with the infection and she rubbed her eye on rough tree bark, only exacerbating the problem.

Gueta credits the see-through mask with saving Tanda’s vision after years of failed conventional therapy. She said the idea came from a device used for horses suffering from a similar condition.

The mask is made from “special netting built from special technology against insects so that files can’t lay their eggs inside, ” Gueta said Tuesday. “They can stand on the netting but they can’t lay their eggs.”

Fitting Tanda with the device posed multiple challenges, mainly because of her size, but Gueta thinks the rhino has ended up liking the new mask.

“At the end of the day I saw that she was cooperating entirely and she understands that this is for her good, ” Gueta said.

Here are a series of images by Associated Press photojournalist Ariel Schalit of Tanda with her new mask.

 

Mideast Israel Rhino Neta Gueta of the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan treats Tanda,   a two-ton rhinoceros,   in the safari near Tel Aviv,   Israel,   Tuesday,   Nov. 4,   2014. Israeli specialists are helping Tanda,   who has a chronic eye infection,   to fend off flies that are worsening its condition with a custom made mask. Gueta credits the mask with saving the animals vision after years of failed conventional therapy including lotions and injections. (AP PhotoAriel Schalit)

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