In pictures: What happens when a 235kg lion goes to the dentist for root canal treatment

Sixteen-year-old Ted underwent a very carefully planned procedure at Knowsley Safari.

A team of seven specialist vets, dentists and carnivore experts had to be drafted in by Knowsley Safari to treat one of its lions after the 235kg king of the jungle chipped a canine tooth.

Lions’ canine teeth can reach a huge seven centimetres in length and are used to hold onto prey and tear away at meat. If left untreated, the tooth could become infected and leave 16-year-old Ted unable to eat his food.

The team of veterinary experts, including an anaesthetist, a dental specialist, and a specialist veterinary dental nurse, administered the one hour and forty-five-minute treatment, with four animal keepers also assisting to help lift Ted onto a treatment table. Once Ted was sedated, the affected tooth was drilled out, before being filled with a specialist dental cement.

Lucie Petrie, Carnivore Animal Manager, Knowsley Safari said: “The expert team ensured Ted recovered well after his procedure and he soon re-joined the pride outside in the reserve. The other lions were interested to investigate where he’d been and were all respectful and gentle with him.”

Pride of place: Ted is part of the family at Knowsley, he was born at the Safari in 2007 and is in a pride of six African Lions currently resident on the Safari’s five-mile-long Drive, along with many other species including Iberian Wolves, Bactrian Camels, White Rhino, Yaks and European Bison.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.