Op for polar bear with a sore tooth

Having a tooth out would normally be a quick and simple procedure – but not if you are a 38-stone (241kg) polar bear.

Walker’s huge size meant that 10 people were needed to lift him on to the operating table.

The bear, who lives at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie, needed dental surgery after antibiotics failed to cure an infection which had left him with a swollen jaw.

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A team of four vets anaesthetised him before he was hoisted on to an operating table built of hay bales inside one of the dens in the polar bear enclosure.

The vets removed the infected tooth which had caused the swelling during a four-hour operation.

A park spokesman said: “It was a pretty standard operation but it was made more unusual by his size.

“His teeth were X-rayed. At first they thought they could do a root canal operation but when they took a good look they realised they would have to do a removal.

“The operation lasted four hours. Walker was up and eating again soon after and he was right as rain the next day.”

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