Surgeon Removes Tiger's Cataracts

A Chinese doctor used his skills to help restore a rare tiger cub's sight.

Posted February 5, 2009 5 a.m. EST

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A surgeon who normally operates on humans used his skills to remove cataracts from a young tiger’s eyes. The rare South China tiger underwent the surgery last week at the Nanchang Zoo in the eastern province of Jiangxi, Reuters reports.

“I removed cataracts from thousands of humans, but it was the first time I have operated on a tiger,” said Liu Fei, a top surgeon at a hospital affiliated to Nanchang University.

The male tiger cub, one of the country’s two surviving South China tigers, was born through artificial insemination. The congenital cataracts in both his eyes are the result of inbreeding, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The South China tiger is “critically endangered,” with fewer than 30 believed to exist in the wild. Cubs born in captivity are prone to congenital defects, Reuters reports, because almost all of the 72 tigers bred in captivity are descended from six tigers captured in the wild in 1955.

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LISA    elkhart, IN

4/3/2011 6:08:46 PM


FT    Paramount, CA

2/25/2008 11:23:00 AM

Great read

Maie    Santa Clara, CA

2/6/2008 11:04:45 AM

I am amazed at the story of this tiger! I had no idea that there was a tiger called the South China tiger, and this was a very interesting article to read.

Christy    Covina, CA

2/5/2008 8:13:40 PM

I'm always amazed as to the stuff they are able to do!

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