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World’s Bravest Tooth Extraction

What’s worse than a polar bear with a toothache? I don’t know, since it’s not a joke. It’s the story of Boris, a polar bear at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington. Boris is 29 years old, twice the average lifespan of a polar bear in the wild. He came to the zoo after he was rescued from a traveling circus. But his dental problems caught up with him, and a team of courageous veterinarians and assistants performed surgery on Boris to remove three rotten teeth. Sure, the bear was anesthetized, you’d still have to wonder every second how well that was working. -via Fark   

(Image credit: Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium)


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I bet she shut that door in a hurry!

You're right -I've seen pictures of polar bears that indicate that Boris is fairly small for an adult male. Still, even a small polar bear pissed off by a toothache can be dangerous.
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This picture - remarkable as it is - really only gives the faintest impression of how BIG these guys actually are. My wife lived in the Arctic for many years and regularly saw polar bears in the wild. She heard a banging on the roof of her house one day and opened the door to find herself starting at a bear's belly: it was on its hind legs trying to claw its way up onto the roof! These guys have paws the size of a nacho platter, and their claws are much longer and thicker than a man's fingers. They're the only animals known to regularly stalk/hunt humans, and are incredibly stealthy for something so big. They've even been observed to cover their black noses with a paw to conceal themselves even better against the white snow. Oh, and they can run at around 40kph, even in deep snow. Yikes!
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