Sea Lions Receive Unique Eye Surgery

November 15, 2010 Updated Nov 15, 2010 at 10:28 AM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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November 15, 2010 Updated Nov 15, 2010 at 10:28 AM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) - In Niagara Falls, the term "Cataract City' takes on new meaning after two sea lions become the first in the area to receive a unique eye surgery.

Thousands of guests come to the Aquarium of Niagara every year to see the sea lions. The problem was, the sea lions couldn't see them.

The two resident sea lions had severe cataracts in their eyes that causes blindness and can lead to other health problems.

The aquarium brought in a team of national experts to perform surgery on September 8 to remove the cataracts. The eleven-hour surgery was a success.

The sea lions were performing tricks they couldn't before with their new-found eyesight.

Sadly, Squirt, one of the sea lions who received the surgery, died a few weeks later from other causes. 24-year-old Diamond is still at the aquarium, however, and is better than ever.