Sanjay Gandhi National Park's sole white tigress has cancer
A biopsy confirmed that the 18-yr-old tigress Rebecca is suffering from melanoma, a type of skin cancer; experts fear her advanced age will make treatment complicated
With Sanjay Gandhi National Park’s white tigress, Rebecca suffering from cancer, experts will pay her a visit and keep a close watch on her to see how she responds to treatment. The main concern is that Rebecca is over 18 years old and it is not certain how well she will respond to chemotherapy.
Rebecca had surgery just last month to remove a large tumour near her left eye, which was when the park authorities began to suspect that she may have cancer
An official from SGNP requesting anonymity said, “We have just received the biopsy report of the white tigress Rebecca and it has been confirmed that she is suffering from cancer.”The results confirmed that the aged tigress is suffering from melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
SGNP authorities had approached the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) at the Tata Memorial Centre, which confirmed that Rebecca has cancer. Due to her advanced age, the national park authorities hope to expedite her treatment by consulting a senior veterinarian, as well as an oncologist from Tata, who will help the park’s in-house vet, Dr Sanjiv Pinjarkar.
“The condition of Rebecca is fine now and she is also eating food properly. Experts will be meeting next week at SGNP, after which we will decide when we can start chemotherapy,” said Dr Pinjarkar. Rebecca was brought to SGNP from Aurangabad in 2011, and she had a surgery just last month to remove a large tumour near her left eye.
At the time, the authorities had noticed that the tumour was growing larger every few weeks and had begun to suspect that the tigress might have cancer. According to the park officials, Rebecca is the second white tigress from SGNP to be diagnosed with melanoma after Renuka in 2009.