Ninio the elephant proves to be a Zooperstar after having his only remaining tusk removed with power tools, chisels and hammers
An elephant with toothache is recovering from five hours of dental work after vets decided to also remove his last rotting tusk.
Ninio, the 20-year-old African elephant, underwent the surgery after a team of vets were flown in from Pretoria in South Africa to carry out the work.
Weighting five tonnes, Ninio has always had trouble with his tusks and teeth.
In 2013 he had a tusk removed and the other cut and sealed during three surgeries.
During the latest procedure the vets discovered that the remaining tusk was also in very bad condition and decided to remove it completely.
It took several hours to take out all bone fragments, using power tools, chisels and hammers.
Zoo spokesperson Małgorzata Chodyła, told PAP: “Putting elephants and giraffes under anesthesia is the highest skill in veterinary medicine.
“The idea is to put the animal to sleep in a controlled manner so that the elephant will lie down properly without getting his legs tangled, because moving an incorrectly positioned elephant leg is hard work for six strong men."
Following the operation, the zoo posted on Facebook: “You are asking about our beloved Ninio - he is very brave, the night has passed peacefully.
“After examination this morning, the doctors decided to release Ninio to the enclosure with the girls, so that he wouldn’t think too much about the pain he feels despite the painkillers, but it is understandable considering how serious the procedure was.”
Now the huge mammal is feeling better, after taking a warm shower, some watermelon, hay and water.
Poznań zoo has four elephants with Ninio being the only male in the herd.
Born in Israel in 1999, the African elephant was first shown to zoo visitors in Poznań in 2009.
Before that, he lived in Warsaw zoo and Hungary’s Sóstó Zoo.