NWCN just received this update on the Point Defiance Zoo Malayan tiger cub Berani, who fell ill on Monday:


Veterinarians expect him to be back to playing with his 'foster brother' in very soon

TACOMA, WASH. - Endangered Malayan tiger cub Berani was released from the animal hospital at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, where veterinarians say he's in 'very good' condition following a critical illness.

The 6-month-old, 74-pound tiger cub rejoined his foster brother, Dumai, behind the scenes in the
Asian Forest Sanctuary this morning. The two are separated by a partition, but they greeted each other with vocal sounds.

This is an animal who has made an astounding recovery, head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf said.

I would expect him to be back to being super playful very soon.

Smiling veterinarians and animal care staff members moved Berani from the hospital to the behind-the-scenes off-exhibit area this morning.

He immediately went exploring, nosing around the enclosure, drinking water from buckets, interacting with his keepers and curiously checking out Dumai across the partition.

Veterinarians and zookeepers will continue to keep vigilant watch on Berani, monitoring him for any unusual gastrointestinal issues or signs of distress, Wolf said.

She believes his sudden illness was the result of enterotoxemia. In lay terms, toxins produced by bacteria brought about an infection that sickened the young tiger, Wolf said.

For now, Berani will remain on medicine to aid the function of his gastrointestinal tract, Wolf said. He also continues to receive antibiotics, and he'll be on a bland diet for a few days but will be gradually introduced to his normal feeding routine.

A team of three Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium veterinarians and animal care staff members worked around the clock for four days to bring the sick cub back to health. Outside consultants also provided assistance with care.

Following emergency surgery Monday night, he was in critical condition and suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Berani's recovery is a testament to the expertise and dedication of our veterinary and animal care staff, zoo general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck said. We're thrilled that Berani is recovering so well, she added.

We also are very thankful for the outpouring of well-wishes from the community, Goodrowe Beck said. They mean a great deal to our staff.

The cubs - Malayan tiger Berani and Sumatran tiger Dumai - each turned 6 months old in the last few days. They've been hand-reared together since October.

Dumai will be on and off exhibit as he and Berani are reintroduced to one another, Goodrowe Beck said. Berani has a healing surgical incision, and veterinarians don't want the pair roughhousing just yet, Wolf said.

Berani will remain off exhibit for an undetermined amount of time while he continues to recover.


TACOMA, Wash. -- Malayan tiger Berani is showing slight improvement after suddenly falling ill on Monday.

Veterinarians and animal care staff are maintaining round-the-clock-care for the 6-month-old cub who had emergency surgery three days ago.

His vital signs are stable, he continues to receive oxygen therapy and remains sedated, zoo general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck said. The 75-pound cub is now receiving nutrition through a tube.

The team of veterinarians is continuing diagnostic tests to determine the root cause of his illness, though initial results point to some type of infection, Goodrowe Beck said.

Zoo staff members appreciate the outpouring of well-wishes from the community.

Berani, born Aug. 26 of last year, came to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium from The Tulsa Zoo in October to be raised with Dumai, a Sumatran tiger cub born just four days before Berani.

Both cubs were single births. Neither was thriving, and each needed hand-rearing to ensure adequate nutrition.

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