Venus tooth problem was solved in an unique way!

Jan 21st, 2020 | By | Category: Featured articles

21.1.2020 – Source: the Ranua Zoo

The 16 years old female polar bear Venus (Sisu’s mother) in Ranua suddenly seemed to have lost her appetite. At the same time the keepers noticed she kept scratching her chin with her paw and looked very apathetic. Something was wrong!

The reason was a broken tooth which caused a lot of pain to the bear. Help from a dentist was urgently needed but there was a little big problem! Venus weights about 300 kilos which would make it very difficult to move her. That’s why the zoo gathered a team to give Venus dental treatment in her den.


Treating a polar bear’s teeth isn’t something that isn’t done so often anywhere! Here you can see how polar bear Boris got the root canal treatment.

After seeing how Boris was treated it’s easy to understand that a root canal treatment in a polar bear’s den is  unique!

Veterinarian Helena Kunts is specialized for treating animals’ teeth but, of course, this kind of treatment was a very challenging experience for her.

Hanne Kortegaard, a specialized dentist from the Univeristy Animal Hospital of Copenhagen, was assisting her and there were two veterinarians from the Zoo Korkeasaari to take care of the aenesthesia.

The members of this team are all very experienced but the very special patient and even more special ‘clinic’ were something new for them all.

All the necessary equipment had to be taken to the den and this could only be done when Venus was ‘sleeping’.

Venus had been examined earlier so the team knew what the problem was – the tooth in the lower corner in her mouth was broken and made the pulpa visible. There were two alternatives: the tooth had to be extracted or given a root canal treatment.

It took one hour for Helena Kuntsi to give Venus the treatment. All in all the whole operation took about three hours.

– The ‘clinic in the den’ was a challenge but the treatment went well. Extracting the tooth would have been a worse solution because we can’t tell a polar bear ‘don’t chew anything hard so the wound will heal properly’ – Helena Kuntsi says.


Venus’ tooth was treated and she’s doing just fine. She is eating well and enjoying her life again.

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  1. Liebe Mervi,

    ach wie schön, endlich mal eine gute Nachricht nach dieser Zahnerkrankung.
    Die arme Venus, da hat sie wohl einige Schmerzen vorher aushalten müssen.

    Der Höhlen OP-Raum war in der Tat eine besondere Herausforderung, welche
    die Tierärzte und Pfleger im besten Sinne für die Bärin gelöst haben.

    Vielen Dank und gute Besserung du schwergewichtige Venus!

    PS. Seite gestern Abend lässt sich die Knuipe-Seite überhaupt nicht öffnen,
    hoffentlich hat die erneute Kalendereinstellung sie nicht “zerschossen”.

  2. Dear Mervi!
    I am glad that Venus is doing well again. The broken tooth is awful. The zoo keepers and the vet did a great job.

  3. Dear Mervi!
    Thank you for this exciting report of Vera´s tooth surgery.
    I´m really impressed that the dentist and the whole stuff managed to do it in her den.
    What a relief it must have been for poor Vera, who had to suffer from toothaches quite a while.
    I´m happy that she obviously made a good recovery!


  4. Dear Mervi,

    So glad all went well!! Wow!

    xo k-j

  5. Das Zoo-Team hat eine tolle Arbeit geleistet. 🙂
    Ich freue mich, dass es Venus wieder gut geht.

  6. Dear Mervi
    Bravo to the joint Finnish-Danish team. Venus is one of the famous Rostock V bears (Anke it is an easy mistake to make to confuse her with Vera).
    Critics of Zoos should note that this tooth in the wild might have led to Venus not being able to feed and a death early on the ice. Instead we have a gorgeous Polar Bear lady in a great place. Good news in these troubled times.

  7. Oops, I didn´t even notice that until now…


  8. Thank you very much dear Mervi.
    Best wishes to Venus.

  9. Liebe Mervi,
    alles gut, die OP war erfolgreich und Venus geht es wieder gut.
    Danke für diese positiven Infos.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

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