Veterinarians from Fujiwara’s Nihon University animal hospital have operated on a rare white tiger suffering from a congenitally displaced kneecap in its right hind leg. This was the first ever operation on this kind of animal.
The nine-month-old male cub, called Sky, underwent the surgery for five and a half hours on Tuesday, according to Kazuya Edamura, the head surgeon of the team that operated on him. They cut open the knee of the tiger and then afterwards lifted the displaced patella but the team discovered that the bone and muscle were more deformed than what they expected. They had to change their initial strategy because the patella was thicker and heavier. “It was a very difficult operation but we managed to complete it without any problems,” said Edamura. He also said that since Sky is still very young, he is expected to make a complete recovery.
The cub was born in March this year at the Tobu Zoo, located in a northern suburb of Tokyo. It is part of the very rare variant of the Bengal tiger and it owes its color, or lack thereof, to the fact that it was born without the pigment that usually makes its fur orange. According to Nihon University’s College of Bioresource Sciences, there are 30 white tigers in captivity in Japan and 300 around the world.
[ via New Straits Times ]