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Amur tigers feel unwell…
Posted on April 14, 2010
On 9 February an adult male Amur tiger (4-5 years old, 156 kg) came to the hunting base near Alexeevka, a settlement on the south-east of Primorsky kray. It didn’t react when frightened and was captured and placed to the tiger inspection rehabilitation centre.
In spite of all our actions, this predator was getting worse every day. Its lack of appetite, absence of any aggression, bad general appearance and complete indifference to humans were being observed.
Laboratory diagnostic tests revealed a high titer of antibodies, specific to the canine distemper virus, but an antigen was not determined. Obviously, the animal had had the disease before as the infection wasn’t active at the time of blood sampling.
On 26 February the tiger weakly rose to his feet but it appeared to jerk and paresis in its rear legs was observed. After 1 March he was no longer able to rise and just lay on his left side; his head didn’t move.
Sadly, this tiger died. After his death a necropsy (animal post-mortem) was performed. The pathologists confirmed that its death occurred because of breathing paralysis and vasomotor centers, as the result of common dehydration and nutritional dropsy.
The exact disease was not identified. It assumed to be rabies, and further tests in the vet laboratory were carried out. The result was negative.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. The same happened with an Amur tiger in Khabarovsky kray to the north of Primorsky kray in the “Utios” rehabilitation centre.
The symptoms were almost identical. Laboratory diagnostic tests established it as a case of canine distemper and toxoplasmosis. This animal died as well.
These cases clearly highlight that that wildlife diseases are a serious problem in our region and deserve particular attention.
We need your help
ZSL is working hard to secure a future for Amur tigers and leopards, as both species are critically endangered. To do this, we need your support.
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