Vets at Marwell Zoo have described the challenge of carrying out root canal work on a 170kg tiger.

The team at Marwell carried out the treatment after male Amur tiger Bagai broke a tooth.

A spokeswoman for the zoo said: “A trip to the dentist isn’t anybody’s idea of fun and when you weigh 170kg, have canines that measure 9cm long and a jaw that can deliver more than 1,000 pound force per square inch (PSI), it’s probably a little bit daunting for the dentist too.

“That’s exactly the challenge an all-female team from Marwell Zoo undertook recently when male Amur tiger Bagai broke a tooth and needed a root canal.

“Carrie Arnold, animal team leader for carnivores, contacted the zoo’s in-house veterinary team after noticing the 11-year-old tiger had broken a tooth.

“His age and known health conditions made anaesthetising and operating a higher risk procedure, so it was critical everything went to plan.”

Zoo veterinarian Dr Elyse Summerfield-Smith oversaw the procedure carried out by veterinary dentist Rachel Perry, which involved performing a root canal, removing the dental pulp, sterilising the inside of the tooth and filling it with a sealer.

The zoo’s team of registered veterinary nurses also monitored the anaesthetic and Bagai’s vital statistics.

Dr Summerfield-Smith said: “When we run procedures like this, everyone involved has responsibility for the lives of their colleagues as well as the life of the tiger.”

The zoo spokeswoman added: “Bagai has since made a full recovery and is enjoying his food once again thanks to the care, professionalism and expertise of this fantastic all-female team.”