March 28, 2008, 9:20
Dentists are now available to Amur tigers. One of the big cats named Lyutik has been operated on by a team of specialists from Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk to cure its toothache. And it left with a bit of bling.
The dentists set up a tented laboratory fitted out with the latest animal dentistry equipment. The surgeons filled the big cat’s cavities and replaced a decayed fang with a 25-centimeter long denture.
They even sprayed it gold to make the denture more durable and improve Lyutik’s smile.
In the middle of the last century, the Amur tiger was on the brink of extinction. Back then no more than 40 remained in the wild.
Russian authorities along with many partners including the World Wildlife Fund joined efforts to restore tiger numbers.
There are about 65 animals in the population now but only 25 per cent are young tigers.
Still, the work is slowly paying off, the population has remained stable over the last decade.
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