Sumatran Tiger ‘Jaya’ gets a check up by Perth Zoo vets

Sumatran Tiger, ‘Jaya’ given a check up this morning. Picture: Alex Asbury
Sumatran Tiger, ‘Jaya’ given a check up this morning. Picture: Alex Asbury

ENDANGERED Sumatran Tiger ‘Jaya’ was given a thorough health check by Perth Zoo vets today.

The 10-year-old male tiger was transferred to the veterinary department and put under anaesthetic for a check-up on his eyes, ears, coat, teeth, and overall body condition.

Perth Zoo vet Alisa Wallace said the hard work began before getting Jaya onto the table, with six people required to lift the 100kg tiger from the transport vehicle to the vet theatre.

“Like most tigers, Jaya is a powerful carnivore, so there was no way we could do these checks while he was awake,” she said.

Along with the body and dental check, blood samples were taken, and a specialist radiologist vet was in attendance to do an ultrasound on Jaya’s abdomen and heart.

“We try to minimise the number of times we anaesthetise our animals, but it has been four years since Jaya’s last vet visit, so we wanted to ensure we gathered as much information as we could to assess his health,” Ms Wallace said.

“He was born here at Perth Zoo in 2008 and weighed less than seven kilograms at his first weight check, he’s grown up to be a very majestic, big cat.”

Jaya is one of two Sumatran Tigers at Perth Zoo, both of which play an important role as ambassadors for their critically endangered species.