Today was truly a one of a kind experience. Our 14 year old male Sumatran tiger Pedang had to undergo a medical examination. This means the veterinarian had to come in and administer drugs to knock Pedang out and then we, the keepers, had to move Pedang to the table where he would be examined. I was the only intern, or volunteer, at the Safari today so they let me help move the big guy and take part in the procedure. It was amazing! Not only did I get to move Pedang but I also got to touch him and take tons of amazing pictures.
What made this exam unique, compared to past ones, was that in addition to taking the tiger’s weight and assessing his overall health, we also administered acupuncture to him. This is a first for the zoological community and gave the safari worldwide recognition. There are news articles online at the Huffington Post and videos on Youtube about the procedure. Click here to watch one of the videos.
Be sure to look for me in the video, I’m the one wearing the awesome black hat carrying the big guy. The reason Pedang needed acupuncture is because of chronic ear infections which lower his ability to hear. The safari has tried every medical procedure they can think of to stop these ear infections but so far, nothing has worked. Here’s hoping that this time the ear infections don’t come back.
Until next time.