Sanjay Gandhi National Park’s (SGNP) lone white tigress Rebecca has survived her tumour removal operation and first cycle of chemotherapy on Thursday. According to SGNP officials, the two-hour long operation was successful and the next round of chemotherapy will be done after 21 days.
“After successfully removing the 200gm black tumourous growth near Rebecca’s left eye, she was given antibiotics followed by first cycle of chemotherapy,” said SGNP veterinarian Dr Sanjiv Pinjarkar.
“We will test her blood again in 18 days and then decide on the dose of chemotherapy. While we have done our best, as Rebecca is old, almost 18 years, her survival is tricky,” he added.
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Around 11 am on Thursday, a team of five doctors operated on Rebecca. The team included private vets on the national park’s advisory panel Dr Neha Wakankar, Dr Chandrakant Wakankar, Dr Manish Pingle, and Dr PR Chaudhari, senior scientific officer at The Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), the R&D satellite of the Tata Memorial Centre.
Rebecca, who came to the park from Aurangabad in 2011, had undergone an operation to remove a large tumour near her left eye in March. The white tigress until a few months ago was part of the tiger safari at the national park along with white tiger Siddharth and six other regular tigers. On March 29, Rebecca was detected with melanoma (skin cancer). Previously, white tigress Renuka, who was then 13, was also diagnosed with skin cancer but did not survive long after the operation.