SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Sumatran tiger underwent surgery at the Sacramento Zoo on Tuesday to remove obstructions caused by stones in its urinary tract.
Surgeons from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine and the zoo began performing the minimally invasive procedure in the early morning. It was expected to be completed by 1 p.m.
Doctors implanted thin, flexible tubes through the cat's right side that will allow urine to drain from its kidneys to its bladder.
The 15-year-old male tiger named Castro is from Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia. It has been at the Sacramento Zoo since 1999.
It is one of about 200 Sumatran tigers in zoos around the world. Fewer than 500 are believed to live in the wild.
Harrison Edell, general curator of the Sacramento Zoo, said in a telephone interview that doctors faced several challenges because of the cat's old age and other medical problems. Earlier this year, Castro was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer, and is undergoing chemotherapy.
"A lot of these medical issues are sort of related to one another," he said.
Pat Bailey, a spokeswoman at UC Davis News Service, said blood tests indicated Castro seemed to be responding well to cancer treatment.
It was unclear how long the cat's recovery period from the surgery would be.
"We're not going to have him out on exhibit if he's not feeling 100 percent," Edell said.
The cat has fathered five offspring, including CJ, born in March at the Sacramento Zoo. Its first granddaughter, Jillian, was born in February at the San Francisco Zoo.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Students at Davidson High School are dedicating their annual Christmas Concert Monday, December 9 to their late band director Tony Pike.
Look for a big drop in our temperatures for Tuesday.
The Democratic leader in the Alabama House is calling for the Legislature to use its election-year session to approve a state lottery.
Shaun Cassidy was slapped with a $1,155,00 bond Monday afternoon. He was arrested Friday night on multiple charges of sodomy and enticing a child.
Robertsdale police said a man was the victim of a hit and run Saturday, around 30 minutes before the start of the city's annual Christmas parade.
In a move intended to persuade Creola residents not to annex into Saraland, the Satsuma City School board considers offering free tuition.