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600-Pound Tiger Gets Root Canal

(AP) LODI, Calif. Many dentists have a difficult time performing root canals on scared humans. So it´s no surprise that a root canal on a 600-pound Bengal tiger required three dentists, an oral surgeon, a veterinarian _ and plenty of courage.

The 15-year-old tiger known as Kubie traveled from an Oregon preservation center to Lodi for the procedure at the Arbor Pet Clinic, which has handled similar operations on other big animals.

Kubie has teeth as long as human fingers and generates about 10,000 pounds of jaw pressure with each bite. That power is especially daunting considering Kubie had a toothache.

So the experts relied on anesthesia and hard-earned skills Saturday to make sure the big cat got the proper care.

“They got everything out. It´s better than his normal tooth would have been,” said Kubie´s handler, Abijah Bauer. “They feel so much better after they get their teeth fixed.”

Kubie is one of 19 tigers that Bauer and her father, Robert Ringo, house at the Tiger Preservation Center at Cave Junction, Ore.

The hours of induced sleep made Kubie almost as gentle as a kitten, and he was easily moved from the operating room to the center´s van for the return trip.