The First Cataracts Surgery on a Grizzly Bear

November 5th Celebrates The first cataracts surgery on a Grizzly Bear

Today on “Days to Remember” we celebrate in California on November 5th 1844. A grizzly bear underwent a successful cataract operation at the Zoological Garden.
Before we bear into today’s story did you know the Grizzly Bear is the motto on the State of California’s flag, but why the Grizzly the Bear?
The bear on the current flag of California is claimed to have been modeled on the last Californian grizzly bear in captivity.

The bear, named “Monarch”, was captured in 1889 by newspaper reporter Allen Kelley, at the behest of William Randolph Hearst. The bear was subsequently moved to Woodwards Gardens in San Francisco, and then to the zoo at Golden Gate Park. After the bear’s death in 1911, it was mounted and preserved at the Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park.

The first Bear Flag was designed by William L. Todd, a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln.

According to the book Flags Over California, published by the California Military Department, the star on the flag was influenced by the 1836 California Lone Star Flag. William Todd, in an 1878 letter to the Los Angeles Express, states that the star was drawn using blackberry juice and in recognition of the California Lone Star Flag. The bear was designed to be a symbol of strength and unyielding resistance.

By please bear in mind, the grizzly bear that needed cataract surgery was going blind so it had to be done, but when did cataract surgery emerged in history?

The earliest form of cataract surgery, now known as ‘couching’, was first found in ancient India and then introduced to other countries by the Indian physician Sushruta around 800 BC.

In 1748, Jacques Daviel was the first modern European physician to successfully extract cataracts from the eye. In the 1940s Harold Ridley introduced the concept of implantation of the intraocular lens which permitted more efficient and comfortable visual rehabilitation possible after cataract surgery.

Thanks for reading todays story one this eye opening experience on how the first bear in history had a successful cataract surgery on November 5th 1844.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


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