Great Hornbill Jary passes first health check post casque surgery

19 FEB 2018
Jurong Bird Park’s Great Hornbill Jary, has passed his first health check with flying colours, four months after a landmark surgery that saved his life.

Jary (prononced as Ya-ri), which means a warrior with a helmet in ancient Norse, perching prettily in his aviary at Jurong Bird Park’s Hornbills and Toucans exhibit after his health check.



Diagnosed in July last year with an aggressive form of cancer in his casque, Jary underwent an hour-long surgery in September to have his cancerous casque removed, and be fitted with a 3D prosthesis. Much thought went into the design of the prosthesis; a highly-skilled team of engineers from the National University of Singapore and veterinarians spent almost two months perfecting the model to fit Jary.

On 30 January, Jary underwent his first health check since the surgery. The park’s veterinary team was ecstatic to learn that his x-ray results revealed new, healthy tissue growing out of a part of his original casque that was not surgically removed, and also did not reveal a recurrence of the tumour.
Dr Xie Shangzhe, Assistant Director, Conservation, Research and Veterinary Services, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said: “We are delighted with Jary’s progress, and the overall prognosis for him in the long term is positive. We are hopeful that it is a complete remission from here on, and the team will continue to keep a very close eye on him.” His next x-ray scan is scheduled for June.

The radiographic imaging of Jary’s head did not reveal a recurrence of a tumour. Jurong Bird Park’s veterinary team is hopeful that Jary—who turns 23 on 1 March—will live a cancer-free life here on.


With Jary’s remarkable progress, keepers are already planning to match make him with Asha, a 4-year-old female, in the coming month. She is currently placed next to Jary’s aviary, and both hornbills can hear each other vocalising. Keepers are planning to gradually introduce them visually in the coming month.


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