Here is the latest condition report on tiger cub at Point Defiance:
Female tiger cub at Point Defiance Zoo continues to show significant improvement
Tacoma, Wash. – Mali, one of two endangered Sumatran tiger cubs at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, continues to show steady signs of improvement but remains in serious condition after undergoing surgery on Monday.
Zoo head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf is pleased with the significant progress the five-month-old cub has made over the past 24 hours. “Mali has made huge leaps forward but still has a long road ahead of her,” she said.
Mali is now standing, vocalizing, eating and defecating, according to Wolf. She is responding to light but still cannot see. Vision is one of the last functions to return following serious trauma to the brain, said Wolf.
“We are hopeful that Mali will ultimately regain her vision,” said Wolf.
Zoo keepers noticed that the cub was lethargic and looked uncomfortable Monday morning. Zoo veterinarians performed emergency surgery Monday afternoon and found several pieces of bone cartilage blocking food from reaching her intestines. Bones are a normal part of a tiger’s diet, said Wolf.
The tiger cub experienced complications following her surgery, went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated. Zoo veterinarians believe she experienced some brain damage due to low oxygen levels.
Zoo veterinarians continue to consult regularly with emergency veterinarians and neurologists about Mali’s case and treatment options. And Mali continues to receive care around the clock.
“We remain cautiously optimistic that Mail will continue to improve every day,” said Wolf.