Tiger makes recovery from surgery

PUBLISHED: 17:19 03 November 2010

Amba the tiger undergoing surgery at Cambridge university

Amba the tiger undergoing surgery at Cambridge university

Archant

ONE OF the main attractions at a wildlife park went under the knife for a serious operation recently, and has thankfully made a full recovery.

Amba the Tiger, who resides at Shepreth Wildlife Park, was treated for a tumor by veterinary surgeons at Cambridge University, and this week returned home to begin rehabilitation.

Fears that the tiger, who has been at the conservation for ten years, had a fatal disease of the abdomen were unconfirmed, much to the relief of the animal manager Rebecca Willers.

“A huge sigh of relief came when the blood test results came back as negative,” said Mrs Willers.

“We have been overwhelmed by Amba’s speedy recovery. She spent her first 24 hours sleeping and we were all concerned for a while.

“We were finally thrilled to see her exploring her outside enclosure again earlier this week, and positively seeking food too.”

Transporting the man-eating tiger from Shepreth to the surgery in Cambridge was a huge operation, and required the park to be evacuated, and the attendance of police and a fire arms team.

Amba had been “fighting for her life,” in the weeks leading up to her surgery, with keepers baffled at the reason for her sluggish behaviour.

Eventually, specialist zoo vet Peter Aylmer, was called in for advice, and he enlisted the help of lead surgeon at Cambridge University Jackie Demetriou.

Mrs Demetriou said: “Pleasingly, after getting this far the surgery itself went very well indeed. A tiger’s internal anatomy is really the same as a domestic cat’s, but bigger.

“I made an incision on the underside of her abdomen and was able to identify the tumour and remove it relatively easily.

“At this stage we are cautiously optimistic Amba’s surgery has been a success and we are very pleased indeed with her progress.”

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