It appears that bears, just like humans, are prone to dental problems. Walker, one of the male polar bears at Scotland’s Highlands Wildlife Park, had to visit the dentist in March to find out the cause of a possible problem in his mouth.
Due to Walker’s size (a trim 82 stone), a large team was involved in this seemingly simple examination and x-ray. Twenty-three people were involved in the procedure including vets, radiographers, Highland Wildlife Park staff, a photographer and a film crew.
This was the third time Walker had seen the dentist since his arrival at the Park in 2010 – he had an extraction in 2011 and a follow up procedure as he had developed an infection post-op. If Walker had been in the wild, these problems could have proved fatal.
Luckily, on this occasion, the team found that Walker’s tooth was only chipped and it will be reviewed in six months time. The problems were spotted in the course of his training sessions and by observations of subtle changes in his behaviour.