Veterinarians at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois, carried out hip replacement surgery on a Siberian tiger in what they believed was a US first for the type of procedure.
The Chicago Zoological Society said Malena, an Amur or Siberian tiger at Brookfield Zoo, was successfully fitted with a custom-designed implant during the six-hour operation on January 27.
The 10-year-old tiger was suffering from an arthritic left hip, the zoo said, adding that investigations had revealed extensive degeneration was causing her pain and stiffness.
“Although geriatric, Malena could still have many years of life ahead of her, so our team was focused on finding a solution that could keep her active and comfortable,” said Dr Mike Adkesson, vice president of clinical medicine for the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo.
The Chicago Zoological Society said it believed this was the first time such a procedure was attempted on a tiger in North America. There are an estimated 500 Amur tigers left in the wild. Credit: Lynette Kleisner / Chicago Zoological Society via Storyful