Vets who carried out ground-breaking eye surgery on a tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park have returned to check on their patient's recovery.

In February 2021, 20-year-old Sumatran tiger Ratna started to show deterioration in her eye following cataract removal surgery.

Veterinary ophthalmologist Dr David Williams, from the University of Cambridge Vet School, and Steve Philp, a vet from the International Zoo Veterinary Group, were called to treat Ratna.

They performed a 'hood graft' operation to save the eye, it what was believed to be a world-first for a big cat.

Royston Crow: Vet ophthalmologist David Williams performed eye surgery on Ratna the tigerVet ophthalmologist David Williams performed eye surgery on Ratna the tiger (Image: Shepreth Wildlife Park)

Now David and Steve have returned to Shepreth to check on Ratna's progress.

David said: "The team at Shepreth told me that they were going to do some X-rays on Ratna, so it seemed like a good opportunity to check up on her eye at the same time.

"I’m thrilled to report that her eye has healed really well. It’s great news, because had it not been for the operation the eye would have worsened and she could have lost her eye.

"It’s wonderful to see how well the procedure worked."

Rebecca Willers, director of Shepreth Wildlife Park, added: "We are absolutely delighted with this outcome. Ratna is an older cat, and with this presents many potential risks to health.

"To hear that both her eye and general condition are good was a welcome relief to the entire Shepreth team.


"We are grateful to have such veterinary expertise on our doorstep and the support and enthusiasm in particular of both David and Steve."

More information about Shepreth Wildlife Park is available at

Shepreth Wildlife Park in Station Road is open Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The entire park is closed on Tuesdays and the play barn is open on Wednesdays.