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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A massive male lion residing at Zoo Miami has a lot to smile about.
Kwame was taken to the Zoo Hospital to undergo a root canal on a lower left canine tooth.
According to Dr. Jan Bellows, who performed the procedure, everything went perfectly and the root canal should last for the rest of the Kwame’s life.
Large carnivores often damage their canine teeth in the wild during conflicts with others and when they bite hard things such as bones during feeding. Many of those animals endure significant pain and infection that can sometimes lead to death.
Fortunately, Kwame will no longer feel any pain in that repaired tooth and it has been sealed against infection.
In addition to his root canal, the 410-pound Kwame also received a pedicure from the Zoo Miami veterinary team.
The 9-½-year-old lion’s nails were trimmed to reduce the potential of them growing into the big cat’s paws.
In case you’re wondering what it takes to clip a big cat’s claws, staff had to file them down with a Dremel tool.
Zoo Chief Veterinarian Dr. Gwen Myers also discovered and removed a small mole. It will be examined for the presence of skin cancer.
Kwame is expected to make a full recovery and be back on exhibit by Friday.