Plastic surgery op for Siberian tiger

Plastic surgery op for Siberian tiger

4 April 2011

Dental surgeons in Khabarovsk have successfully reconstructed cheek tissue in the famous tiger, Zhorik, who underwent an unsuccessful operation in 2009 after being misdiagnosed.


"The surgeons, assisted by Chelyabinsk vet Karen Dallakyan, who saved Zhorik after the failed operation, have performed extensive surgery. But he will need more operations. Their timing depends on how the healing goes," said Eduard Kruglov, head of the wild animal rehabilitation centre Utyos. He said that the tiger was feeling fine and was already able to eat.


In 2009, Chelyabinsk vets from the local animal preservation fund and maxillofacial surgeons saved Zhorik the Amur tiger cub who nearly died after being misdiagnosed and undergoing a botched operation. In October 2010, the recovering animal was moved to the Utyos rehabilitation centre in Russia's Far East. The tiger needed plastic surgery to restore skin missing from his cheek. In February, local schoolchildren started fundraising to pay for the tiger's upkeep and the operation.


They raised around 160,000 roubles. Their money will be used to buy antibiotics and food for the tiger. "This money will be enough to feed the two tigers living at the centre for nine months," Kruglov said.


A few years ago Khabarovsk dentists saved another tiger, named Lyuty, also living at Utyos. The tiger's fangs had been damaged, which caused inflammation. He underwent several operations before finally being given titanium fang implants. Lyuty is already 20 years old.