Russian vets fly thousands of miles to remove a metal can from a polar bear’s mouth

A team of specialized veterinarians traveled from Moscow to a small Russian town to help a small polar bear. The animal has been wandering for several days with a metal can stuck to its tongue and appears to be asking residents for help.

Residents of the remote village of Dixon, one of the most northerly inhabited places on Earth, raised the alarm this week when they saw a small polar bear wandering between homes. The animal, which was given the name Monetochka, had a metal can in its mouth. It later turned out that the can was stuck in her tongue. As a result, the two-year-old animal was unable to eat and drink and was very thin and slightly dehydrated.

“The bear was so exhausted from the enclosure that it came to us and stuck out its tongue,” said one of the residents. “But it was impossible to help without the bear being shocked, so people gave up.”

A team of specialized veterinarians was called from the Moscow Zoo. They took planes and flew 3,400 km to free the animal from its enclosure. Using a dart, they managed to stun a polar bear and remove the sharp object from its mouth. “The tongue is damaged, but most likely it will recover because the underlying muscles are not affected. The skin on the surface is damaged,” said veterinarian Mikhail Shintsky.

Then the animal was transported by helicopter, in a special cage, to its natural habitat a few tens of kilometers away. “We took the animal out into the tundra and injected it again to wake it up,” said Shintsky. The vets left her about 50 kilograms of fish so that the animal could regain its strength.

© via Reuters

© via Reuters

© via Reuters

© via Reuters

© via Reuters


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Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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