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Unique hip

January 28, 2011

For over a year, a tiger at a zoo in the eastern German city of Halle has suffered from hip pains. An unprecedented operation now has "Girl" back on her feet: She is the first tiger in the world with an artificial hip.

Malaysian Tiger
Girl's hip is a first for animal medicineImage: picture-alliance/ dpa

An unprecedented operation at the University of Leipzig has given "Girl" - an eight-year-old tiger suffering from severe arthritis - a new hip and newfound mobility.

Medical officials said the Malaysian tiger had survived the operation successfully and that the prosthetic hip was firmly in place.

"She's resting," said head doctor Peter Böttcher, "and doing as well as any tiger could be after such a serious operation."

Böttcher said that the next six months would be crucial for Girl's convalescence. The greatest danger is if the tiger dislocates the prosthetic during this initial stage of recovery.

If all goes well, however, he said there would be no reason why Girl wouldn't be able to grow old with her "more than unique" replacement.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (dpa, epd)
Editor: Andreas Illmer