A team of 13 dentists, vets and keepers have performed a root canal on a tiger to save the feline’s canines.

Amur tiger Kuzma had the procedure at Knowsley Safari Park after dental issues were found in a routine check.

The four-and-a-half hour surgery went well and the 10-year-old male later “tucked into his tea”, the park said.

A spokeswoman added that while many people “dread” dental checks, “on this occasion, the dentist had more reason to be wary of the patient”.

She said the process was similar to the one used on humans, but was “scaled up for the big cat”.


Vets look into the tiger's mouthImage copyright KNOWSLEY SAFARI PARK


The tiger wrapped in duvets to keep it warmImage copyright KNOWSLEY SAFARI PARK


It involved the use of a portable dental x-ray, which revealed a broken root, and saw two veterinary dentists, a veterinary anaesthetist, dental nurse, radiographer and eight carnivore keepers work together.

One of the safari park’s vets Jen Quayle said the dentistry “involved a lot of preparation”, as the tiger had to be wrapped in duvets and bubble wrap mittens because “the process of anaesthesia naturally stops Kuzma regulating his temperature”.

She added that the success of the procedure “meant we didn’t have to resort to more intrusive surgery, while relieving Kuzma of any pain and making it much more comfortable for him during mealtimes”.

Amur tigers, which are native to eastern Russia and north-east China, are endangered in the wild.

Article originally appeared at: https://www.bbc.com/