Vets Save A Bear With Monstrously Enlarged Tongue By Removing 3 Kilos Of Excess Tissue

USATODAY_AnimalkindPublished: October 24, 20172,542 views
Published: October 24, 2017

An infection caused a bear's tongue to swell to the point it had been dragging along the floor and he often had to rest his head on his cage bars to cope with the huge strain being placed on his head and neck by its weight. Nyan htoo, a 18-month-old Asiatic black bear, had been rescued as a cub along with his brother by monks in Myanmar. The bears had been taken from their mother and were destined to be sold illegally in China.

Nyan htoo had been suffering from a mystery illness since he was a cub. Although the disease remained a mystery for the last couple of years, the vets think it may have been caused by elephantiasis, a mosquito-transmitted infection that makes body parts swell to extreme levels.

Nyan htoo’s tongue became so enlarged that he could not shut his mouth. In 2016, vets operated to remove excess tissue and now Nyan htoo has been freed from that burden and is now able to eat, sleep, play and move more naturally. Vets removed three kilograms of excess tissue from the bear’s tongue in a procedure that lasted four hours.

Caroline Nelson, a veterinary nurse at Animals Asia's Vietnam Bear Rescue Center said: "This was a really unusual medical condition - never before seen in any species of bear - but we weren't about to give up on Nyan htoo."

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