Blind Tiger Receives Cataract Surgery

A one-year-old rare South China tiger at the Nanchang Zoo in Jiangxi province, China had been blind since birth, but can now see. The surgery was performed by Liu Fei, an eye surgeon with Nanchang University. Although Dr. Fei had operated on hundreds of human patients, this was his first veterinary surgery. It was also the first eye surgery ever done on a South China tiger.
The baby animal had been suffering from cataracts, most likely caused by inbreeding. Many of the tigers suffer from genetic defects. Most of this is due to a lack of genetic diversity. There are 72 South China tigers that have been born in captivity in China. Almost all of these exotic animals are directly descended from just six tigers, all of which were captured in the wild in 1955.

It is estimated that only about 30 South China tigers survive in the wild. Link -via Digg

(image credit: Shizhao)

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