Yorkshire Wildlife Park: 600 kilo polar bear goes to the dentist
It is normally the patient who is scared of going to the dentist – but when it is literally a bear with a sore head suffering tooth ache the tables can be turned.
Luckily dentist Peter Kertesz is one of the country’s leading animal dentists and 600 kilo Sisu didn’t daunt him at all.
The three-year-old polar bear lives at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, located in Cantley, near Doncaster, and underwent an hour long tooth extraction last Friday afternoon.
Sisu was suffering with a broken tooth which can lead to severe infection and in some cases develop into an abscess. It was spotted by rangers who called for help.
Mr Kertesz was accompanied by dental nurse Monika Mazurkiewicz and a vet specialised in the use of anaesthetics.
He said: “It was wonderful that the keepers have been so observant and attentive to the animals and noticed this. I was glad we operated swiftly because a broken tooth can lead to severe infection and be very painful.
“It was a standard procedure, where we cleaned out the infected root canal, which was over three inches long, and filled in the canine. We then had to build and shape the tooth, ensuring we kept its length. Sisu will now have a perfectly functioning tooth for the rest of his life.
“After the operation Sisu was standing very quickly, but he was kept in his den to recover fully.”.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s Director of Animals Charlotte McDonald said: “Sisu is now fully recovered and enjoying entertaining half term visitors with his antics.”
Sisu lives in the original 10 acre Project Polar reserve with Luca, Nobby and Hamish. Next door in the four acre project Polar 2 reserve are Flocke and her three cubs. Yorkshire Wildlife Park is now the second largest polar bear facility in the world and the largest outside Canada.
Polar bears are the largest land carnivore and are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, due to climate change that is causing loss of sea ice which restricts their ability to find food.