A tiger maimed by a poacher’s trap is to be given a prosthetic paw, in a world first operation aided by a UK surgeon.
Prof Peter Giannoudis from University of Leeds earlier this week helped Indian experts carry out a preliminary operation on the seven-year-old big cat. The tiger called Sahebrao will be fitted with a artificial paw in around four weeks, in the first operation of its kind.
Sahebrao was rescued from a poacher’s trap in Gondmohadi village in Chandrapur district in 2012. His wound later developed gangrene, and a part of his injured front left leg had to be amputated. Since then, he has been living in captivity at the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Nagpur’s Gorewada Zoo.
Prof Giannoudis, an expert in fractures and bone regeneration, told the Telegraph he was advising the team and intended to be at the final operation, but said he would not comment until it was complete.
The tiger was adopted by Sushrut Babhulkar, a Nagpur-based orthopaedic surgeon, in 2016, who has since then been investigating the possibility of an artificial limb. He contacted experts abroad and teamed up with the University of Leeds.
“Now we will be able to fix the prosthetic limb within 3-4 weeks… the limb will be manufactured in Nagpur. We have taken all the necessary measurements,” he told The Indian Express, a Delhi-based daily newspaper.