Saving The Sumatran Tiger – Veterinary Manual Handbook

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Veterinary Guidelines for the Handling of Sumatran Tiger in Conflict

Social and economic developments in Sumatra have brought about negative impacts on the quality and availability of suitable Sumatran tiger habitats. Conflicting interests between humans and the Sumatran tiger are increasingly hard to avoid, resulting in an escalating number of human-tiger conflicts. This situation is worsened by increasing illegal hunting, causing a drop in the availability of tiger prey species and driving tigers to approach human settlements in search of poorly protected domestic cattle as prey.

This book may serve as a guide for veterinarians handling captured/trapped wild Sumatran tigers, which need to be treated differently from those tigers born in captivity. The animal temperament and stress levels following capture/trapping must be of prime concern when conducting examination and subsequent medical interventions. Quick and appropriate diagnosis to determine the health status of the animal is vital when handling a conflict tiger.

The attending veterinarian must be responsible for the examination and final diagnosis of underlying illnesses and injuries sustained by the tiger and must plan appropriate medical treatment. To minimize the risk to the tiger, veterinarians are required to be professional (accurate, conscientious, skilful), fast and efficient in handling tigers in conflict situations, as time is a key factor in the survival of such tigers, where every minute counts.

This book contains guidance related to all veterinary aspects of dealing with a conflict tiger. It presents a step by step guide, from the moment the animal is found, to handling and anaesthesia, examination techniques, obtaining and handling samples, diagnosis and treatment of the most common health issues, to post treatment recommendations. Also included are guiding principles for euthanasia and diagnostic post-mortem examinations. The main resources drawn upon for this book are the authors own experiences in handling Sumatran tigers, both in captive and conflict situations, as well as key referenced text.

We hope that these guidelines will assist veterinarians, particularly those who serve in Sumatra, on the front line dealing with human-tiger conflict situations. Lastly, we thank God the Almighty for the publication of this book Veterinary Guidelines for the Handling of Sumatran Tigers in Conflict.(HAW)

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