News and Views from Scotland

Massive Effort to Sort the Rhino's Toothache

Indian Rhinoceros
© Yathin S Krishnappa via Wikimedia Commons

Edinburgh's Firefighters proved they had a thick skin when they were called to assist a rhino - suffering from toothache.

The crew supported Royal Zoological Society of Scotland vets at Edinburgh Zoo during the dental procedure in order to ensure the safety of both staff and the animal.

Firefighters from Newcraighall fire station were asked to assist in the procedure last month.

They drew on their skills of searching collapsed buildings to safely manoeuvre two tonne "Bertus" into the correct position for the operation.

Station Manager Willie Pollard said: "Being requested to support RZSS Edinburgh Zoo in the moving of their rhinoceros is one of the strangest special services I have undertaken.

"The task of safely moving an animal of this size clearly presents a number of challenges.

And Bertus is now back enjoying his favourite food of browse (leaves, soft shoots, or fruits) and vegetables.

Simon Girling, head vet at the zoo, said: "We are incredibly grateful for the help of the fire and rescue crew. Bertus' operation was a great success and even though it was a minor tooth operation, it involved a massive team of people all working together to ensure the operation went smoothly."

Bertus is now reported to have made a full recovery from the procedure carried out earlier this month and is eating comfortably.

Bertus is a greater one horned Indian rhino and is eight years old.

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January 2017

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