Rescued bear has extreme life-saving dental surgery so she can eat without pain

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Graphic footage shows how a British medical team performed life-saving dental surgery on a brown bear, who was unable to eat properly due to his broken teeth and decaying gums.

Gory footage shows the team of medical experts performing a gruelling five-hour operation - involving the extraction of seven teeth and root canal surgery on three - on Misha, a 25-year-old brown bear. The British medical team who assessed Misha found his teeth were broken and decaying and his gums were infected and swollen from years spent gnawing on the bars of a cage.

The 900lb bear was found wandering on the outskirts of an Armenian village and had likely escaped from captivity, experts say. He was rescued in 2023 by UK NGO International Animal Rescue (IAR) and its partners FPWC in Armenia.

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Problems with his teeth meant the bear was in a lot of pain and struggling to eat and he was described by the vet as "severely malnourished". But a heart-warming end to the video shows Misha on the mend in his recovery pen - where he is eating lots of fruit!

Jonathan Cracknell, 47, a veterinary surgeon specialising in wildlife and anaesthetics, from Knowsley, Merseyside, said: "The dental surgery was a great success. It was a complex surgery and, on closer inspection, poor Misha had even more problems with his teeth than had been anticipated. But the team did an amazing job, extracting seven teeth and performing root canal treatment on three others.

"We were finished in about five hours, leaving time to treat a second bear – Masha – whose surgery was quick and straight-forward." International Animal Rescue estimate there are as many as 50 caged bears in need of rescue – and living in terrible pain, just as Misha was.

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