Friday, November 25, 2011

Saving the eye of the tiger: Battle to prevent rare white big cat from going blind


Vet Rob Lowe led a team of vets in trying to restore Zena's sight after she developed a cataract

This vet is used to restoring the sight of dogs and horses, but never has he worked on a tiger before.

Roger Lowe was enlisted by the Isle of Wight Zoo, in Sandown, to remove a cataract from the one remaining eye of Zena, a rare white tiger.

The 15-year-old big cat, who is a star attraction at the zoo, lost her right eye to glaucoma six years ago and faced total blindness and a life of finding her way round with just her senses of smell and sound.

Charlotte Corney, who hand-raised Zena, said she is glad to see the recovery the rare tiger is making

On Monday, however, she went under the surgeon's knife and is back to her usual self with 'tomboyish tendencies'.

People visiting the her will be able to see her splashing around in puddles or showing off for the crowds that go to visit her.

Back with her sister, Zia (right), the tiger is one of the star attractions at the Isle of Wight zoo

Zoo owner Charlotte Corney said: 'I'm over the moon, couldn't be happier.'

Zena's profile on the Isle of Wight zoo website says she lives with her sister, Zia, who has a totally different character.

'Unlike her older sister Zia, Zena doesn't seem to understand the meaning of vanity,' it says. 'Zena has a real zest for life, which is evident from watching her humorous antics.

'Among other things, she has perfected the art of bouncing along on her hind legs while trying to 'bite the jet of water from a hosepipe.'

source: dailymail

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