School holiday visitors watch Sumatran Tiger health check

Lucky visitors got an up-close look at Sumatran Tiger Assiqua when she visited the Animal Health Centre at Adelaide Zoo today.

The 19-year-old feline underwent a general anesthetic for a check-up after keepers noticed one of her dew claws was beginning to grow into her paw pads.

As life expectancy for Sumatran Tigers in the wild is about 12-years-old, and in captivity about 20-years-old, veterinarians also performed some age-related health assessments.

Zoos SA Veterinarian Oliver Funnell said while Assiqua was presenting some age-related issues, he was pleased with her overall health.

“As tigers enter their golden years and become less active it can be common for their claws to grow into their paw pads, so we gave them a trim today before it starts causing her discomfort,” Oliver said.

“During the check we also performed some X-rays, had a look at her teeth and checked the state of her joints for any signs of arthritis.

“She’s certainly getting to an age where we’re seeing her start to deteriorate slightly, so we’ll be keeping an eye on her but overall, we’re happy with her health.”

The procedure was watched by a number of visitors here to enjoy Adelaide Zoo’s school holiday program Dr Zoo.

The animal health themed holiday program offers fun and exciting on-site activities including arts and crafts and two special shows for the whole family to enjoy.

Whether it’s treating animals, diagnosing problems or caring for pregnant animals, no two days are the same in the Animal Health Centre.

Along with these special activities, visitors are able to watch the veterinary team at work through the public viewing window.

With more than 2500 animals calling Adelaide Zoo home, you never know who you might see on the table!

Assiqua, who will celebrate her 20th this week, is one of the oldest Sumatran Tigers in Australia.

Born in 1999 in France and arriving at Adelaide Zoo in 2007, Assiqua is a firm favourite amongst staff and visitors alike.

Sadly, wild tiger populations are at an all-time low, with less than 400 Sumatran Tigers estimated to be left in the wild.

Here at Adelaide Zoo, we’re lucky to be home to three beautiful Sumatran Tigers, Assiqua, Rhani and Kembali.


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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.


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