A roaring success: Aslan the rare white lion undergoes six-hour dental operation to remove broken canine teeth after pain makes it impossible for him to eat

A rare white lion received a six-hour dental operation to remove the broken roots of its two rotting canine teeth.

Aslan, a resident of the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Pretoria, had been in pain since his canine teeth broke a year ago.

The pain had resulted in the nine-year-old male becoming isolated, aggressive and agitated by its inability to bite down.

Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson notes that Aslan had become isolated, aggressive and agitated
The video produced by denture company Fixodent, captures the operation and features lion whisperer and animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson.

He says: ‘A lion without its bite is not really a lion, it’s really important for a lion to have a full set of teeth that are usable.’

Filmed interacting with the pride, Kevin speaks of the special place he has in his heart for Aslan, who he remembers was bitten by his father after being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The white lion is placed under anaesthetic and stretchered to the makeshift, onsite surgery by a number of people

Lion whisperer Kevin Richardson stays by the lion for the duration of the surgery while it gets fragments of its rotten canine removed

Dr Adrian Tordiffe operates on the lion for six hours and removes the entire root of the rotten canine
He says: ‘I couldn’t imagine anything better than having a white lion and it was quite an incredible thing to see this really pure white ball of fluff amongst all these brown lions.’

In preparation for the long procedure, which Kevin predicted could take up to four hours, the lion is placed under anaesthetic and stroked in reassurance.

The video then fast-forwards to the day of the operation as three cars transport the lion to the makeshift, onsite surgery.

Kevin Richardson states that the lion is a ‘real tough character’ after going under the knife for six hours

Dr Adrian Tordiffe removes all the rotten fragments of tooth from where the lion’s canine used to be

The operation took a lot longer than Kevin had anticipated and a total of four teeth were worked on
Aslan is then laid out on the table and the animal anaesthetist, Dr Adrian Tordiffe, points out the order in which he will attend to the teeth – the gaping hole left by the broken canine tooth is visible.

Kevin stays by the lion’s side for the duration of the operation as the rotten fragments of the canine tooth are pulled from its mouth.

After the last piece of tooth is removed, the doctor sews up the hole and notes that the animal will soon be without the pain and as a result a much happier lion.

The fragments of the broken and rotten canine teeth were removed and the doctor later sewed up the holes

After the operation Aslan returned to his big cat ways and was once again able to eat comfortably with the rest of the pride
Later in the video Kevin notes that the six hour operation was a lot longer than he had anticipated and that a total of four teeth – instead of two – were worked on.

He says: ‘He’s a real tough character to endure that. Now with hopefully no pain in the mouth and the ability to bite nicely he’s not going to feel so insecure.’

Aslan is then shown being seamlessly reintroduced to the pride, despite Kevin’s fears that it may not go entirely smoothly.

Kevin strokes Aslan’s chin and notes that he has not been able to do that for a long time on account of the pain the lion was in

Despite Kevin’s fears that it may not go entirely smoothly, Aslan is welcomed back to the pride after his operation

The king is back! Kevin notes that the other lions are pleased to see Aslan and that they are once again a happy pride

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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