Chinese dentists have succeeded in the mammoth task of re-attaching a broken tusk to an elephant in Shanghai Zoo--without anesthetic.
Their patient, 10-year-old Meina, snapped her tusk at the root when she balked in fright during a transporting operation earlier this month. With the nerves bared, inflammation later set in.
Leading dentists in Shanghai were invited to conduct an operation on April 25. For fear of incurring problems and slowing down recovery, an anesthetic was ruled out of the operation.
A little after 9 am, Meina was led to the dentists under the coaxing of her breeder. The dentists purged and sterilized the tusk root, and then refixed the broken tusk with the strongest adhesive they had.
Meina winced several times during the process, but accompanied by her breeder managed to endure the entire operation without making much fuss. Soon after the operation, Meina seemed rejuvenated and began to take food.
Dentists said that through the operation, the first on an animal without the aid of anesthetic in Shanghai, they accumulated much experience in animal dentistry.
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2002)