Nyan Htoo is a rescued Asian black bear with a very unusual problem: an extremely swollen tongue that falls out of his mouth like a giant melon.
Unable to close his jaw, the 18-month-old animal simply dragged the organ on the floor as it walked, sweeping germs and scars. The giant tongue – possibly the result of a congenital disease – made feeding difficult and the bear could not stay with his brother in the ThaBawa animal shelter in Myanmar.
Heather Bacon, a veterinarian at the University of Edinburgh, part of the team that operated the bear to remove her tongue.
“It was a real deterrent to their well-being,” said Bacon, who has been working with bears for 10 years. “He has never had a normal tongue before, so using it is a process he will have to learn.”
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