Ailing Canadian zoo tiger’s condition improves

Last Updated: Monday, February 12, 2007 – 9:08 PM AT
CBC News

The Siberian tiger that has been battling kidney failure is feeling a bit better, at least for the time being, thanks to medication and a new diet.

Tomar the tiger has been the iconic face of the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton for two decades. The outlook on his health was so bleak that an open house was held at the zoo last month, to give his public one last chance to say goodbye.

Zoo officials said they didn’t think he would last through the winter, but some new measures may keep him around for the zoo’s next season.

Bruce Dougan, general manager of the zoo, says Tomar is enjoying a new diet that includes a lot of meat, egg yolks and other rich foods.

“Were trying to give him a fattier diet so it’s a little easier on his kidneys,” Dougan said. “We seem to have arrested the weight loss, he’s on medication and even his urination has slowed down.”

Dougan says people have set up websites to track Tomar’s progress, and the zoo continues to receive cards and e-mails.

“We’re getting offers of books to be written about Tomar, of pictures to be painted, of quilts to be sewn,” Dougan said. “All kinds of people are still inquiring about Tomar and of course they’re very interested in how he’s doing.”

Dougan is hopeful the new diet and medication will keep Tomar strong enough to enjoy the public once again, when the zoo re-opens for the season in the spring. nb-tomarimprovement.html

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