Tiger cubs are on the mend from bone disease
Thursday, October 08, 2009
RARE tiger cubs in Torbay are on the road to recovery, but it may be several weeks before they return to public view.
Animal experts at Paignton Zoo are treading carefully with their injured Sumatran tiger cubs, Surya and Aryo, which are being treated after they broke leg bones earlier in the year.
They were diagnosed with osteoporosis and vets had to pin and plaster their limbs.
The cubs were born in February. In July female cub Kemala was seriously injured in a fall and vets had no choice but to put her down.
A zoo spokesman said: “The pair are now well on the road to recovery and have had the pins taken out and casts removed.”
They were in adjacent pens at the zoo vet centre during the early stages of treatment, but have now been put together as the first step towards moving back into the public enclosure with mother Banda and brother Bintang.
Head vet Ghislaine Sayers said: “The two cubs have been mixed and after some very positive greeting noises they were soon playing together and grooming each other.”
It is likely to be several more weeks before the cubs are moved back to the tiger pen for contact with their mother.
Curator of mammals Neil Bemment said: “The last thing we want is to do anything too quickly and risk more breaks.”
All the cubs, now eight months old, have been given mineral supplements and meat on the bone to strengthen their bones.
Mr Bemment said: “We may mix these two with the third cub before they all go in with mother Banda, assuming she is happy to be separated from him for a short time. We know a lot of visitors and supporters are really keen to see the cubs together again, but this is not a job to be rushed.”