She’s fighting like a tigress | india | Hindustan Times
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She’s fighting like a tigress

A Royal Bengal tigress, shot and injured by poachers at Orissa's Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, is fighting for survival, reports Soumyajt Pattnaik.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2007 04:13 IST
Soumyajit Pattnaik

Another story that makes you wonder if tigers have any chance at all in India. A Royal Bengal tigress, shot and injured by poachers at Orissa's Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, who is fighting for survival.

And despite veterinarians from the United States joining efforts to save her, it is doubtful she will ever regain her majestic walk.

It has been two months since the tigress was brought to the Nandankanan Zoo after being rescued from the Satkosia sanctuary.

She cannot move her hind legs and drags herself with the help of her front legs, with great difficulty. “The tigress is suffering from posterior paralysis and has lost the use of her hind legs. We are regularly carrying out X-rays and checking her bio-chemical and blood profiles. But her condition has not improved,” Ranjit Samantray, the zoo vet, told HT.

A zookeeper who has been looking after the tigress said she had been writhing in excruciating pain for the last few days.

To ease her pain, zoo director Ajit K Patnaik has sought expert advice from the National Zoo at Washington DC.

The National Zoo’s chief veterinarian Dr Suzan Murray, in an e-mail to the Nandankanan director, said: “I am very sorry to hear about the tigress and we would like to help if we can. After a spinal cord injury, if neurological function has not returned to the legs within 45 days, it is not likely she may never regain movement. Also, once pressure sores have developed, there is really no way to successfully treat her without getting her off the affected area.”

Murray has advised the Nandankanan authorities to keep the tigress as quiet as possible. “Some spinal cord injuries can take a while to improve, so keeping her quiet will be useful. It is also important to keep her dry and away from any urine.”