Zoo's tiger gets trip to dentist

16:00, Dec 18 2012
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OPEN WIDE: Rokan the tiger under general anaesthetic.

Wellington Zoo tiger Rokan had a root canal today to fix a broken tooth.

The 16-year-old Sumatran tiger was given a general anaesthetic for the operation in The Nest.

He was unconscious from about 11am till 3.30pm and was left with a shorter tooth, but one that he can chomp with.

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STRIPEY: Rokan the tiger in happier times.

More than 100 people watched the root canal, which was done by a specialist Massey University vet who came especially to assist the zoo’s vet team.

Senior zoo keeper Dave French said the operation went well and Rokan was up and about shortly after he was woken from the anaesthetic.

The decision was made to save the cracked lower canine, rather than pull it out as the risk of infection to the gum was high.

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