Chimp's chomper gets treatment

Last updated 13:39 22/01/2014
chimp
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

OUT COLD: Sam the chimpanzee has a tooth removed at Wellington Zoo.

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He's already long in the tooth but now Sam the chimp is minus one.

In front of a large crowd of holidaying schoolchildren today, Wellington Zoo's oldest chimpanzee had an upper incisor tooth removed in the zoo's veterinary clinic, The Nest.

Life sciences manager Paul Horton, who deals with primates and carnivores, said zoo veterinarians used the opportunity while Sam was under anaesthetic to do a general health check, including taking X-rays.

At 36, Sam was the oldest of the zoo's 13 chimps. He had every chance of living into his 60s in captivity, meaning dental hygiene was important now, Horton said.

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