Despite surgeries and chemotherapy sessions, Borivali's Sanjay Gandhi National Park's sole white tigress Rebecca's condition worsens; yet another tumour found in her neck
After fighting cancer for over five months, Sanjay Gandhi National Park’s sole white tigress, Rebecca’s critical condition is giving the park authorities sleepless nights. Not only has she stopped eating for the last few days, the doctors have now found a new tumour in her neck.
“We have been monitoring her movement and she has been in a critical condition for two days. She has even stopped eating,” said a staff member from SGNP.
Rebecca is nearly 20 years old, and doctors aren’t sure if she will make it through a fifth surgery.
mid-day has carried several reports of Rebecca undergoing four surgeries and several chemotherapy sessions since she was diagnosed with melanoma, a form of skin cancer (‘SGNP fights to save sole white tigress from cancer’, April 16).
In September, the cancer relapsed, after which she underwent a fourth operation, when the tumour was removed from her face.
This time, however, a new tumour has been growing fast on her neck, and the authorities are concerned, as they are not sure if Rebecca will make it through another operation due to her age.
Dr Sanjeev Pinjarkar, SGNP’s veterinary officer, said, “She will soon turn 20, which is quite an advanced age for big cats in captivity. She has undergone four surgeries so far, and she might need another operation to remove the tumour. We will consult our team of expert doctors, after which a plan of action will be decided. As of now, her health is serious. We are doing our best to ensure she recovers soon.”
The team of experts
treating Rebecca comprises Dr Pinjarkar, Dr CC Wakankar (retired professor at Bombay Veterinary College), Dr PR Chaudari (scientific officer with the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer at TATA Memorial Centre) and Dr Manish Pingle (wildlife vet).
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