Stardust Circus lions Zaire and Zimbi out for a morning walk along the Torrens. adelaidenow
by Jordanna Schriever
April 20, 2013
VETERINARIAN Perrine Neretti has treated plenty of cats but never those of the wild variety.
Stardust Circus, which is performing in Bonython Park, rang Dr Neretti's Glen Osmond Veterinary Clinic on Thursday night after their lioness Zimbi fell ill.
The four-month-old feline had apparently swallowed a piece of a toy which caused an intestinal blockage.
Dr Neretti said she initially feared the worst for Zimbi because she was so lethargic, breathing rapidly and in considerable pain.
After spending a night on a drip with antibiotics and pain medication and a little minced meat yesterday morning, she perked up considerably and was allowed home about 10.30am.
"She got a bit upset this morning and started to roar," Dr Neretti said yesterday.
"People in the waiting room were wondering what was going on with this loud roaring coming from out the back."
Dr Neretti, said she had treated numerous domestic cats but had never handled a lioness before.
"They're not unlike a domestic cat ... what is different is the handling," she said.
"Even though she was only 16kg, she was very strong with big claws and big teeth."
Circus spokeswoman Jan Lennon said Zimbi was on the mend and would rest for a couple of days as she made a full recovery.
"It was a very worrying night," she said.
"We really had no idea what happened, she just got sick all of a sudden."
Ms Lennon said she sought help from the Glen Osmond Rd clinic because it was one of the few roads in Adelaide that she knew how to find.
Stardust Circus is performing at Bonython Park, Adelaide, until May 5.