Juvenile tiger under rehabilitation takes normal feed after dental surgery

The juvenile tiger that is being rehabilitated at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), following its rescue as a cub in 2021, started taking normal feed after a dental surgery it underwent on Monday for a lost canine.

The tiger, now sheltered in a cage at the Forest Department guest house at Manambolly in ATR, was recovering well and it did not exhibit visible symptoms of any ailment. “The tiger is doing fine”, said a senior officer from ATR.

Another official said that the tiger started feeding on meat like normal. “It appears energetic and recovering well,” said the official.
A team led by K. Sridhar, Veterinary Assistant Surgeon of Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur; E.Vijayaraghavan, Veterinary Assistant Surgeon of ATR; and S. Sathasivam, Veterinary Assistant Surgeon of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, performed diagnostic and surgical intervention on the tiger at a temporary operation theatre set up at the guest house.

They removed residue tooth pieces of the lost right upper canine, cleared the cavity and filled it with biodentine. The minor surgery was performed after the canine, which had a crack when the tiger was rescued as a cub from a tea estate near Valparai in September 2021, came off.

The veterinarians were concerned as chances were high for the carnivore to rub against the wound or sutures. However, the dissolvable sutures were intact after 48 hours. To heal the wound fast and to keep it safe from infections, the tiger was given antibiotics and other medicines.

“The veterinarians will examine the tiger after a week,” added the official.

After complete recovery, the tiger will be released back to the open enclosure of 10,000 sq.ft. at Manthirimattam in the core area of ATR which was specially designed to rewild the tiger.

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