Jaguar undergoes dental surgery

March 15th, 2010 - 11:25 am ICT by IANS  

Bogota, March 15 (IANS/EFE) Reina, a female jaguar who lives at the Santa Fe Zoo in the northwestern Colombian city of Medellin, underwent an operation on her canine teeth because they showed damage that was preventing her from eating properly.
The big cat underwent a procedure to treat and reconstruct the roots of her lower canines Saturday at the Universidad CES Veterinary College’s clinic.

The procedure, which lasted more than three hours and the most complicated part of which was the “anaesthesia portion”, was performed by veterinarian Martha Cecilia Ocampo.

“The idea is to improve her ability to feed herself and thus improve her quality of life,” Ocampo told reporters who watched the operation being performed at the clinic.

Ocampo had already corrected the same problem in a tiger, a puma and a lion at the same zoo.

The damage to Reina’s teeth possibly had been produced by her lack of dental care since she arrived at the zoo, Ocampo said.

The jaguar was returned to her artificial habitat in the zoo after the operation.

“In their wild life, these animals suffer this damage that cause them problems in surviving and therefore here we do an annual checkup to guarantee them better well-being,” Ocampo said.

Reina was seized from animal traffickers more than a year ago and was delivered to the zoo to ensure that she was properly cared for.

Jaguars, which currently are in danger of extinction because of the illegal traffic in their hides, are the largest felines in Central and South America.

–IANS/EFE

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