In a rare surgery among felines, a fracture in the jaw of a three-month-old lion cub was operated upon by doctors at the Junagadh Veterinary College Hospital with the help of Jasadhar Animal Care Centre of the Forest department.
The cub was recently rescued by the Forest department officials from the Paniya range of the Gir-east wildlife circle. “The cub was very sick and was rushed to the Junagadh Veterinary College Hospital,” said Rajdeepsinh Jhala deputy conservator of forest, Gir-east division. “The cub had suffered injuries in the jaw which came to the knowledge of the field staff. Doctors at Jasadhar diagnosed a fracture there which required surgery. However, the field staff could not determine how the cub’s jawline had got wounded. It is believed he could have been trying to chew on something hard or a barbed wire, resulting in the injury.
Doctors said that they had performed such surgeries on adult lions earlier, but this was an uncommon one in a cub. The doctors fitted wiring in the jaw and the operation took around three hours. The cub was under the observation of the veterinary doctors at Jasadhar center till it recovered. However, it was not able to chew any meat because of the fracture. Dr. Vaibhavsinh Dodiya, assistant professor at the Animal Care Centre said, “We had to feed the cub with crushed mutton and eggs in a semi liquid form. The cub was being closely monitored and was being given hard food gradually as his jaw condition improved. Slowly the cub started chewing raw meat properly.”
Based on latest x-ray reports, doctors from College of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, Junagadh, who had performed the surgical procedure declared the seven-month-old cub fit for hunting and ready to be released into the wild. “As the cub has fully recovered now, and will be able to hunt on his own. We have also got approval to release it into the forest,” said one of the vets who treated the cub.
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