Surgeons in Russia have been fighting to save the life of a baby tiger who was found dying from frostbite. The endangered animal was found by rescuers in the far east of the country suffering from exhaustion and frostbite.
The emaciated female Amur tiger cub is believed to be around four or five months old and was found by local fisherman on a river bank in the Primorye region late last year. They reported the animal to the local wildlife carers who rescued the cub taking it to the nearest rehabilitation centre.
Amur Tiger Centre said: “External examination showed that she was severely exhausted as a result of which the tip of her tail was frostbitten,” adding that the cub’s lower jaw also became necrotic (tissue dying) after an injury.
The tiger, weighed just around 20 kilograms roughly half the norm when she was found. She has undergone intense rehabilitation and had gained about 10 kilograms in preparation for surgery. That surgery was undertaken last week with the cub spending two and a half hours in the operating theatre, where doctors replaced the dead tissue in her jaw with health tissue as well as removing the tip of her tail.
Vets say the surgery was successful but it is too early to make any predictions and to say whether it will be possible to release the cub back into the wild.
Sergei Aramilev, the Amur Tiger Centre’s Head, said: “The most important thing right now is to halt the tissue necrosis and save the tiger’s life. People are doing their best.”
Russia and China are home to these tigers, which are also known as Siberian tigers and are listed as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
Pyotr Osipov, Head of the Amur branch of the WWF said: “There are around 600 tigers in Russia. Heavy snowfall and changes in temperature have significantly complicated tigers’ life this winter,” adding that two tiger cubs had recently been found frozen to death.
President Vladimir Putin has personally championed the protection of the Amur tiger with a 2010 summit he hosted agreeing to work to double the cat’s population.
Animal rescuers around the world will be praying for the baby tiger fighting for life, with the animal having received global attention for its plight.
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