Tiger Cub Berani Recovering From Critical Illness

Saturday, March 2nd 2013, 9:09 am
By: Dee Duren

A health scare for a much-loved former Tulsa zoo animal seems to have passed. Berani, a Malayan tiger cub whose story News On 6 followed as he began a new life at the Point Defiance Zoo, is in very good condition following a critical illness, according to veterinarians.

Berani, who is now 6 months old, rejoined his foster brother Dumai March 1 though the two are separated by a partition.

Six in the Morning Anchor LeAnne Taylor traveled with Berani, an orphaned cub, when he left Tulsa for the Tacoma, Washington zoo. He bonded quickly with Dumai, who had also been orphaned.

Berani became lethargic in late February with a sudden high fever, according to Terrie Correll of the Tulsa Zoo. He would not eat and underwent emergency exploratory surgery. Berani went into acute respiratory distress and received intensive care from Point Defiance vets.

2/27/2013 Related Story: Health Deteriorates For Former Tulsa Tiger Cub In Tacoma Zoo

He began to show some improvement Thursday and had made an "astounding recovery" by Friday, said Dr. Karen Wolf, head veterinarian at Point Defiance Zoo. He was transferred from the hospital to an off-exhibit area where he is exploring and interacting with zookeepers.

"I would expect him to be back to being super playful very soon," Wolf said.

Wolf believes Berani's sudden illness was the result of toxins produced by a bacterial infection. He is on antibiotics, medicine to aid his gastrointestinal tract and a bland diet, she said.

Berani will remain off exhibit as he continues to recover.

Watch the videos above to re-live Berani's journey to Tacoma and his adjustment to Port Defiance Zoo.