An Amur tiger undergoes an X-ray on his spine

Staff at Yorkshire Wildlife Park were relieved when a 12-year-old tiger Vladimir woke up from a risky medical procedure. The big cat has a curve in its spine that causes him discomfort, so to check the problem, he has to be under anaesthetic.

As the procedure could cause the tiger to hallucinate or even stop breathing, the team leader described the process as a "heart-in-the-throat situation". The tiger is recovering well from the anaesthetic, and has to undergo a check once a year to make sure his condition has not progressed.

The Amur tiger is one of the word's most endangered animals, and is mainly distributed in the forests of eastern Russia and northeast China. A pilot Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park has been built to help bring back the precious feline.

(All images via VCG)

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