Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

May 27, 2005

Surgery for Bad Bearth

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:45 pm

No, that’s not a spelling mistake!

Yukon the Polar Bear Has ‘Breath Surgery’

The Associated Press
Friday, May 27, 2005; 8:55 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Yukon the polar bear underwent surgery that zookeepers hope will clear the air.

The 16-year-old polar bear got an infected tooth pulled Thursday at Seneca Park Zoo. A team of veterinarians used a small hammer and chisel to remove it.

The 805-pound bear was the perfect patient. He remained still on a large examination table, sighing occasionally during the hour-long procedure, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported Friday. Of course, he was sedated.

The doctors linked the tooth to Yukon’s bad breath.

“You can just enter his den and you can smell it,” said Dr. Jeff Wyatt, the zoo’s director of Animal Health and Conservation. “It’s kinda funky.”

Wyatt, who performed the surgery, said Yukon’s tooth problem is actually quite common in older bears.

Zoo officials said the bear — and his breath — are expected to make a full recovery in a few weeks.

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