Alligator With a History of Melanoma Gets CT Scan as Vets Fear Cancer Has Returned
As it turns out, humans and reptiles aren’t as different as we think.
Casper, a 13-foot-long Leucistic alligator living at Jungle Island in Miami, was given a CT scan last Friday. The alligator has a history of melanoma, and veterinarians are worried the cancer has returned.
“He’s undergoing this CAT scan,” Jungle Island’s Jason Chatfield said in an interview with WSVN. “We really wanted to find out what’s going on, and this was the least invasive, least dangerous way to do it.”
Chatfield said they removed a metastatic mass off Casper’s back about 18 months ago, but for the last six months, they’ve noticed their 19-year-old alligator suffering from a lack of appetite, loss in weight, and fatigue.
According to veterinarians, his unique light skin tone and long days spent basking in the sun could have something to do with the cancer.
To conduct the test, Casper’s handlers loaded him into a van, operated by Mobile Pet Imaging, a veterinary service that transports CT equipment to animals in need.
Results were then sent to veterinarians at the University of Florida, who are experienced in examining alligators.
The results are forthcoming.