Scientific writing depends on citing accurate sources. There can be real-world consequences for failing to do so. As an example, several authors have stated that tiletamine–zolazepam (Telazol®) is contraindicated for tiger (Panthera tigris) immobilization. This admonition has virtually evolved into dogma in the field of wildlife chemical immobilization and was recently used to challenge field research. However, a literature review revealed that no author cited the primary reference that raised concern about the use of Telazol in tigers. We conducted an internet-based inquiry of zoo veterinarians combined with personal communications and other field reports to gather data on the use of Telazol in tigers. These data indicated that the mortality rate (1.3%) of tigers given Telazol was similar to other immobilization regimens in other species, which suggested that, although adverse reactions may still occur, tiletamine–zolazepam should not be contraindicated in tigers. This investigation emphasized the need to conduct thorough literature reviews before making unsubstantiated claims.
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Vol. 74 • No. 6