Tiger’s shortened stride gets closer look

Tiger’s shortened stride gets closer look

By J. Brian Ewing
Staff Writer
Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2008 1:09 pm

What do you do with a 400-pound tiger with a boo-boo on his paw?

“Take him to the pet shop,” according to one student in Stacy McKinney’s 2nd grade class from Jamestown Elementary.

Several classes from the school visited the Natural Science Center Tuesday morning and noticed Axl, the zoo’s male tiger, limping. Peggy Ferebee, zoo curator, said Axl has a cut on his right paw. There is also concern about his hind legs. Zoo keepers have noticed a shortened stride.

Some in McKinney’s class suggested giving Axl medicine while another student suggested leaving him alone. A few brave souls volunteered to put a band-aid on the paw.

Ferebee said for now they are taking the “leave it alone” approach. Zoo keepers searched the cage Axl shares with his sister Kisa for anything that may have caused the cut but turned up nothing.

The paw is healing but Axl’s size makes it difficult to administer ointments to speed the process up.

“Unfortunately we can’t put on those cute little booties they put on dogs,” Ferebee said.

The zoo is sending off X-rays of Axl’s hind legs for veterinarians to review. Ferebee said it is likely a strain from playing but they want to look closer in case it is a more serious medical concern.



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