CLEVELAND- It’s not every day someone gets the chance to watch a bear get its teeth cleaned, but the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo invited FOX 8 to do just that.
One of our crews went behind the scenes to see Scruffy, a 29-year-old Sun Bear, get her pearly whites spic and span.
“Scruffy has a history of dental disease. As she’s gotten older, she’s had an increase amount of plaque that’s accumulated on her teeth, such that now we actually anesthetize her and put her to sleep every three to four months to try to keep on top of it,” said veterinarian Dr. Mike Selig.
While under, the bear was also given a physical and had some blood drawn for testing.
Dr. Selig said she’s not the only one to go through this; many of the other animals at the zoo do too.
He said it’s important they all stay in good health.
“We obviously provide good habitats and good diets for them, but health care is also a really important aspect of their management and we take it very seriously here,” he said.
After Scruffy got her teeth cleaned, pediatric dentist Dr. Shreya Modi was brought in to help apply a special varnish.
She volunteers her time and said she’s always been fascinated by animals.
“Dental care is sometimes overseen in the human population, so we definitely, because animals can’t communicate with us, we definitely want to make sure we’re taking care of it here and they’re doing a great job of that here at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo,” she said.