A veterinarian performed surgery on a tiger’s eye to repair an ulcerated cornea in a world first.
If you can get past the insufferable puns, you’ll be happy to know that Ratna, a 17-year-old Sumatran tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park in England, made a complete recovery after surgery to restore her vision.
Ratna developed another problem in her conjunctiva, the pink portion of the eyeball, after having a cataract removed from her left eye in 2017. Her eyeball began to deteriorate and gradually turned bright red, as if it contained a broken blood vessel.
Surgeon Dr. David Williams, from the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital at the University of Cambridge, performed an operation which is not uncommon in domestic cats and dogs, and was completed in much the same way—aside from needing “a lot more anesthesia.”
It is believed to be the first “hood graft” surgery done on a big cat.
Ratna may have caught her eye on a shard of bamboo in her enclosure, according to Williams.
He declared Ratna completely recovered after two months of careful post-surgery monitoring, which included daily eye drops.
Ratna, who moved to Shepreth in 2019 with her daughter, was known to love sitting on the top platform of her enclosure—but as her cornea deteriorated, her balance deteriorated, and getting up and down became difficult.
Describing her patience for human hands on her face as “fantastic,” Williams the vet told the BBC she is now “absolutely fine—you’d never know anything had been wrong.”
The only bad news is that neither the staff nor Dr. Williams were able to disclose to the BBC that Ratna was “watching us all with the eye of the tiger.”Follow Us