Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tiger Cub Water Therapy

Vets at a German zoo have got a partially paralysed tiger cub back on her feet - thanks to water therapy sessions.

Rana is learning to overcome a cat's natural fear of water by learning to walk again while her weight is supported in a water tank.

But her therapists are now anxious to complete the treatment - before the tiger is too big for them to work with safely.

Rana was born completely healthy at Halle Zoo 18 weeks ago but suddenly collapsed unable to walk.

Keepers believe her mother Cindy may have unknowingly crushed her cub's lower back.

Zoo vets have been using water tanks and special harnesses to take the Malayan tiger cub's weight while she learns to move her legs again.

"She has improved enormously with better reflex reactions and greater control of her legs. The therapy is really working," said vet Jens Thielebein.

Rana currently weights just 25lbs - but will soon start growing up to her adult weight of 264lbs.

"We have to work quickly before she starts to grow up too much and becomes a danger to her therapists so we have to do as much as we can as quickly as we can," he added.

Malay tigers are endangered and found only on the Malay peninsular where experts believe as few as 600 are now living in the wild.


1 comment:

Michele said...

that's just awesome. I think Tigers might not have issues with water as most cats so she is ahead of the curve there! So hoping she gains full mobility