Young Indochina tiger undergoes eye surgery in Uthai Thani

Photo courtesy of Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation

A semi-blind male Indochina tiger, believed to be approximately two years old, underwent successful surgery this week to remove an intensely inflamed eye. The tiger, known as Balago, was discovered wandering around Kamphaeng Phet around a month ago and was brought to Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Uthai Thani.

Senior veterinarian Pimchanok Songmongkol, along with a team of specialists from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), performed a thorough health check on Balago. The left eye of the tiger was notably twice the size of its right and was considered to be causing severe pain for the animal. The decision was made to proceed with the eye’s removal. Following the operation, Balago was prescribed anti-inflammatory medication along with antibiotics.

The excised eye and blood specimens were dispatched to the DNP and Mahidol University’s Faculty of Veterinary Science for further investigation into the cause of the inflammation.

Balago was initially spotted in Khlong Lan National Park in Kamphaeng Phet. He was captured on February 19 and transported to the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Breeding Centre in Lan Sak district for further care and rehabilitation.

Upon the first medical assessment, the tiger was found to be entirely blind in its left eye due to a corneal scratch. Additionally, Balago had a minor injury on his front left paw and showed signs of malnourishment, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, the release of bantengs in Salak Phra Wildlife Sanctuary reportedly led to a notable increase in the Indochinese tiger population, a first in over 30 years. Trap cameras captured images of six tigers, indicating successful conservation efforts.

Plans to merge banteng herds aim to prevent inbreeding and ensure species survival. With conservation measures in place, the sanctuary plays a vital role in preserving biodiversity and protecting endangered species in western Thailand.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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