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London Zoo is treating a lion with an earache – International News News – Report by AFR

How do you treat an endangered 12-year-old lion with a persistent earache? Usually the answer is: with difficulty.

But London Zoo said on Monday they had eased the process by hiring a CAT scanner for Bhanu the lion to find out the cause of his repeated ear infections.

The equipment was brought in to prevent the 180 kilogram (28 stone) Asiatic lion from having to be sedated and transported off-site for testing.

Chief Veterinary Officer Taina Strike said the zoo made the intervention as part of a long-term treatment plan for the animal.

“We had to first figure out what’s causing the problem and urgently rule out worst-case scenarios like a tumor or deep-seated infection that would show up immediately on a CT scan,” she said.

“Bhanu is an important member of the Europe-wide breeding program for endangered Asiatic lions and deserves the very best care, so we have arranged full VIP treatment; brought a CAT scanner to a big cat for the first time so we can look deeper into his ear without him having to travel.”

Bhanu was sedated in his cave and then taken to the scanner in the back of a flatbed truck. Six employees then maneuvered it into position on the scanner.

Specialists from around the world called to diagnose the problem, which turned out to be a very narrow left ear canal, prone to blockages and infection.

“Just like your pet cat at home, big cats can naturally get ear infections that are usually treated with ear drops,” Strike said.

While he was under anesthesia, veterinarians gave the big cat’s ear a thorough cleaning before returning it to its den.

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