Friday, August 29, 2008

Gorilla Has Sore Tooth Removed By Dentist

GORILLA dentistThis 28 st primate had to be sedated for two hours by specialist vet dentists during a successful operation to remove a painful three inch root.

Pertinax, a silverback Western gorilla, was said to be "understandably groggy" after the operation at Paignton Zoo in Devon.

He was treated by Dr Peter Kertesz, one of only a few specialist zoo dentists in the world, who has worked on exotic species including whales, pandas and elephants.

He said: "Animals or people, it's all the same - they need treatment, they get treatment. The scale is what varies - and the location. It is all about teamwork.

"It is a very serious business. The health and sometimes the life of a rare creature is in your hands."

Neil Bemment, curator of mammals at the zoo, added: "Pertinax had a broken canine. Peter had to remove the root, which was a good three inches long."

Pertinax is the 25-year-old leader of the zoo's bachelor group of gorillas and was treated at the attraction.

Dr Kertesz has a dental practice in London and his first experience of animal dentistry was when he looked at a cat for a vet in 1978.

Story here.

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