A star attraction at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland has become the first reindeer in the world to receive life-saving keyhole surgery.

Eskimo underwent the ground-breaking operation last month and has made a full recovery.

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Romain Pizzi, a veterinary surgeon for the Royal Zoolological Society of Scotland, successfully removed one of Eskimo's testes, which had been lodged in his abdomen since birth.

"The operation was a great success and Eskimo has made a speedy recovery," Pizzi said. "Laparoscopic surgery is still very uncommon in veterinary surgery, even among common species such as cats, dogs and horses.

"So for keyhole surgery to be carried out on a reindeer shows a great advancement in veterinary surgery," he continued.

"We were especially pleased with how quickly Eskimo recovered after surgery," Pizzi added. "He was standing and happily eating lichen again within 10 minutes of recovery from anaesthesia. This would simply not have been possible with traditional open abdominal surgery, as the long wound would have been much more painful and debilitating."

Keyhole or laproscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using tiny holes to perform surgery. This type of surgery carries a lower incidence of scarring and shorter recovery time compared to traditional surgery.

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