Sea world’s new ultrasound- a first for the African continent

Dr Caryl Knox receives a little kiss from Jabu the seal.

Ultrasound examinations have been used as a diagnostic tool for large marine mammals, fish and reptiles by the uShaka Sea World’s Animal Health Team for more than 20 years.

But, when a new, state of the art, portable ultrasound machine arrived, with a high-resolution headset, the Health Team was delighted.

“This new OLED headset will give us the opportunity to examine our animals more efficiently in the comfort of their exhibits, even in bright sunlight. In the past I have always struggled with the sun’s glare when working outside,” said veterinarian, Dr Caryl Knox.  

All the mammals have been trained to lie motionless to allow the veterinarians to examine their internal organs such as lungs, bladder and kidney etc.  In this way, the Animal Health team are able to keep a close, non-invasive eye on the health of the animals.

Although expensive, the new ultrasound not only enables the veterinarians to work in the sun but, as it has significantly higher resolution, it allows for more accurate assessment of the organs. It also has the added benefit of being able store images for later analysis and comparisons.

According to Gavin Mitchell from BCF Technology, who supplied the equipment, this OLED headset is the first of its kind used on the African continent.  “This is a huge step forward, not only for uShaka Sea World but for veterinarians throughout Africa,” he said. The equipment forms a vital part of the routine animal health care processes at the sea world and will help the team to ensure the best possible care for our animals.


Elaine Naidoo
Digital Editor

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