LOCAL white Bengal tiger goes under the knife to fix eye problem

Thursday, July 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It has to be one of the most unusual surgeries ever done in Tulsa. Wednesday night doctors removed a cataract from the eye of a white Bengal Tiger. KOTV’s Rick Wells was there for the operation.

Titan is a young white Bengal tiger. He lives at Safari Joe's Zoological Park in Sapulpa. He's healthy except for a fairly large cataract in his left eye. The cataract makes clear vision out of that eye impossible. Dr. Mark Abel of Triad Eye Medical Clinic looked at the cataract and believes he can remove it. So, Titan was brought to the south Tulsa clinic. They moved him directly from the trailer to the operating room. There were no real problems but the cataract was a little bigger than Dr. Able had anticipated. "Got hold of the cataract and pulled it down to the incision, it was a little thicker than we anticipated but it was rock hard. So we extended the incision a millimeter or two and was able to slide the whole thing out in one piece." Titan should be able to see better soon.

There will be some follow-up visits to the park to make sure everything is going well, but the doctor doesn't anticipate any problems. The whole thing took less than an hour, and Titan was on his way home, with not a clue of the excitement he caused.