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Eye of the tiger is healing just right, says University of Cambridge vet





A tiger’s eye that was saved in an operation almost three years ago has “healed really well”, according to a University of Cambridge vet.

Experts were called to help after Sumatran tiger Ratna showed deterioration in her left eye in 2021 following cataract removal surgery.

Vet ophthalmologist Dr David Williams said Ratna’s eye ‘has healed really well’ Picture: Cambridge University/ PA
Vet ophthalmologist Dr David Williams said Ratna’s eye ‘has healed really well’ Picture: Cambridge University/ PA

They checked up on the 20-year-old big cat this year when they returned to Shepreth Wildlife Park and found she was doing well.

Vet ophthalmologist Dr David Williams, of the University of Cambridge’s Vet School, and vet Steve Philp, of the International Zoo Veterinary Group, first attended the wildlife park in February 2021.

They carried out a hood graft operation to save Ratna’s eye, in what was believed to be a world first for a big cat.

The pair returned to the wildlife park this year to check up on Ratna.

Ratna had eye surgery in 2021 Picture: Cambridge University/PA
Ratna had eye surgery in 2021 Picture: Cambridge University/PA

Dr Williams said: “The team at Shepreth told me that they were going to do some x-rays on Ratna, so it seemed like a good opportunity to check up on her eye at the same time.

“I’m thrilled to report that her eye has healed really well.

“It’s great news, because had it not been for the operation the eye would have worsened and she could have lost her eye.

“It’s wonderful to see how well the procedure worked.”

Sumatran tiger Ratna, 20, had her eye inspected at Shepreth Wildlife Park in Cambridgeshire this year, following an operation in 2021 Picture: Cambridge University/ PA
Sumatran tiger Ratna, 20, had her eye inspected at Shepreth Wildlife Park in Cambridgeshire this year, following an operation in 2021 Picture: Cambridge University/ PA

Rebecca Willers, director of Shepreth Wildlife Park, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this outcome.

“Ratna is an older cat, and with this presents many potential risks to health.

“To hear that both her eye and general condition are good was a welcome relief to the entire Shepreth team.

“We are grateful to have such veterinary expertise on our doorstep and the support and enthusiasm in particular of both David and Steve.”



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