Brazilian Alligator Gets ... Acupuncture?
It's a practice becoming more and more common with animals
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2013 9:46 AM CDT
Bino, the albino alligator, receives acupuncture treatment in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013.   (Ana Pereira)

(Newser) – Bino's back was killing him. He was suffering from scoliosis. He couldn't move his legs, two of them anyway, and his tail just wouldn't swish. What's an albino alligator in that sort of health bind to do? Acupuncture, naturally. Bino lives at the Sao Paulo Aquarium, where he's been since 2007. Veterinarians said Wednesday that he was born eight years ago with his ailments, and nothing seemed to alleviate them. So, in early 2011 veterinarians decided to see if acupuncture might help Bino, as it has other animals living at the aquarium. "The acupuncture will ... alleviate his pain and keep all his vital functions going," an aquarium biologist said of the 30-minute weekly treatments to continue indefinitely, as long as they show solid results.

Acupuncture on animals is becoming increasingly common around the globe, especially with pets such as cats, dogs, and horses, but Bino requires a few extra precautions, like the important first step of taping shut his lock-tight jaws full of sharp teeth. A veterinarian firmly presses the needles into his leathery white and yellow hide along his spine and around the area where the animal developed a hunchback, then gently strokes Bino's neck before removing them. The treatment complete, handlers help Bino back into a display pool. He moves easily and swishes his tail, gliding along the water as a gaggle of young schoolchildren squeal in delight.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Brazilian Alligator Gets ... Acupuncture? is...
1%
4%
0%
85%
1%
7%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 14 comments
JT119
Sep 3, 2013 11:07 AM CDT
I wonder which insurance co. carries it's insurance!!!???
NorCalHal
Aug 30, 2013 12:05 AM CDT
I'll bet it can GIVE good acupuncture too!
finkster
Aug 29, 2013 10:21 AM CDT
You mean they didn't shove an assortment of pills down his throat like Big Pharma would have suggested? Amazing.