20°C / 22°C
  • Sun
  • 28°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 12°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 28°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 29°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 27°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 28°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 30°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 29°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 27°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 27°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 30°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 18°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 19°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 19°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 19°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 27°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 31°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 30°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 32°C
  • 19°C
  • Sun
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 29°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 33°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 26°C
  • 17°C
  • Thu
  • 31°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 33°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 34°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 32°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 28°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 29°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 13°C

Tasmanian devil returns to San Diego Zoo after pacemaker surgery

In January, zoo veterinarians discovered that Nick suffered from an abnormally slow heartbeat.

Nick, the Tasmanian devil. Picture: Facebook.

MIAMI - A Tasmanian devil named Nick is back in his exhibit area at the San Diego Zoo after receiving a pacemaker to make his heartbeat normal.

In January, zoo veterinarians discovered that Nick suffered from an abnormally slow heartbeat and his cardiologist decided that surgery was in order.

Nick is only the second of his species on record ever to be implanted with a pacemaker, according to staff at the San Diego Zoo.

"His heartbeats were too slow and now the pacemaker is going to actually take over (pacing) his heart and is going to determine when to pace fast or slow depending on his activity," said Dr. Joao Orvalho, a cardiologist at the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Medical Centre in San Diego.

While pacemakers are routine in humans, implanting one in a marsupial known for screeching, biting and a pungent odour proved challenging.

"Typically when a pacemaker is placed, it's placed within the neck area," said Dr. Fred Pike, the surgeon during the procedure. "But because of the conformation area and the shape of the neck, that's not possible."

Instead, Pike placed the device in the animal's abdomen and sutured the electrode to the heart.

The surgery was performed on 11 May and Nick was released from the hospital later that day. He is now back to feeding and screeching in his enclosure at the zoo.

"So far everything looks really good," Pike said.

Tasmanian devils, which are about the size of a small dog, are native to Australia's island state of Tasmania. The nocturnal hunters face extinction due to a rare, contagious cancer found only in devils - devil facial tumour disease.

The disease kills every animal infected and has no cure. It is transmitted through biting, a normal behaviour among devils when mating or feeding. The San Diego Zoo's four devils are free of the disease, the zoo said.

Timeline

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus