University of Edinburgh Vets Helps Save Bear With 'Monstrously Enlarged' Tongue

StoryfulNewsPublished: October 24, 20173,493 views
Published: October 24, 2017

An Asian black bear was saved from a painful illness that caused its tongue to swell to an enormous size thanks to a team from the University of Edinburgh, who traveled to Myanmar to operate on him. The 18-month-old bear, called Nyan htoo, was rescued by a monastery when he was a cub, alongside his brother Kan htoo. The pair had been destined for illegal sale in China, the university said. Following the rescue, Nyan htoo contracted an infection, which the Edinburgh veterinary team said may have been mosquito-transmitted elephantiasis. The infection caused the bear’s tongue to grow to several times its original size. He had an operation to remove excess tissue in 2016 but this wasn’t enough to help him and by June this year, Nyan htoo’s tongue was so large it dragged along the ground and was injuring his mouth. Veterinary surgeon Heather Bacon, with the University of Edinburgh’s Royal School of Veterinary Studies, traveled to Myanmar with Caroline Nelson, a veterinary nurse with Animals Asia, and Romain Pizzi from Wildlife Surgery International. The team worked with local vets and carried out a tongue amputation. More than three kilos (6.6 pounds) of tissue was removed by the team during the surgery, which lasted over four hours. The university said Nyan htoo was making a good recovery. Credit: University of Edinburgh via Storyful

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