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Polar Bear With Bad Breath Gets Surgery

May 26, 2005

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Yukon is a 16-year-old polar bear with massive paws and some mighty stinky breath. ``You can just enter his den and you can smell it,″ said Dr. Jeff Wyatt, Director of Animal Health and Conservation at Seneca Park Zoo. ``It’s kinda funky.″

But after a procedure at Seneca Park Zoo on Thursday, veterinarians are hoping the odor emitting from Yukon’s big mouth will soon be a breath of fresh of air.

After zoo staff determined Yukon’s smelly problem was caused by an infected tooth, Wyatt and a team of veterinarians extracted the beast’s tooth with a small hammer and chisel.

The 805-pound tranquilized bear remained still on top of a large examination table, only sighing occasionally during the hour-long procedure, according to the Democrat & Chronicle of Rochester.

Wyatt, who performed the surgery, said Yukon’s tooth problem is actually quite common in older bears.

Zoo officials said the bear _ and his breath _ are expected to make a full recovery in a few weeks.


Information from: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, http://www.democratandchronicle.com

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