KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tsavo, the cancer-stricken lion being treated at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, goes back under the knife Tuesday. So, veterinarians have been able to cut the size of his tumor in half, A spokesperson for the College said.
"It is a very unique case. It's unique that the Melanoma he has not usual in cats. Never mind a lion. We think this is the first report case of this kind of melanoma in a lion," says Dr. Nathan Lee, a Radiation Oncologist.
The 12 year old, 350 pound cat has skin cancer, a tumor on his upper lip.
"Melanomas occurs in domestic cats, especially white ones on the ears. And is probably solar induced. In Tsalvo we're not really sure how it cropped up. It's not in the right location for sun induced tumor," says Dr. Ed Ramsey, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine.
Debbie Wilkins of Tiger Haven says, "When we take them in, we promise to give them the best life we can, and if we can let them live a happy a life, we do. We made that promise when we took them, and we keep our word to them."
"We actually see a lion here in the clinic once a week," added Lee