Emergency root canal treatment in White River saves leopard

An extraordinary inter-provincial collaboration between veterinarians and surgeons from the dental fraternity, the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) and conservation minded people, has saved narrowly the life of a young leopard in town on Sunday morning.

When WMU received a juvenile male leopard that had been captured in an expanded metal cage last week, they quickly discovered the young cat’s life was in danger.

In his desperate attempts to escape from the razor-wired cage, the leopard had snapped his four canines which were now exposed to the roots, leaving him in excruciating pain.

The groundbreaking collaboration – between WMU, MPTA, Pretoria-based root canal specialists Advanced Endodontics (AE), Transformational Dentistry (TD) and Wildlifevets in White River – was brought together brilliantly by Yolanda Botha of Wright Millners Dental Suppliers in Midrand.

ALSO READ: Lowveld Roads Remain Open, Public Transport Not Running

Botha arranged for AE’s top endodontic specialists, Sheree Tredoux and Glynn Buchanan, to travel from Gauteng to White River to assist local vets Chris Smith and Hayden Cuthill of Wildlifevets with the complex procedure.

Last but not least, TD’s Cobus Verster complemented the extraordinary team by providing the surgical facilities – usually reserved for human patients – where the emergency response took place.

“The pulp in the center of the leopard’s four canines was exposed, causing him significant pain and preventing him from eating. The operation took two hours and was completely successful,” Verster said.

“He was a juvenile, so luckily it was still his primary teeth. The canines will grow back, but this great inter-provincial team definitely saved his life.

READ ALSO: The community of rue Ferreira in Mbombela takes care of its own

Gait-Jan Sterk of the MTPA confirmed that the leopard had been returned to a predator detention center for recovery and would be monitored for a period of time to allow its body condition to improve.

“He will then be released in one of the MTPA nature reserves with a satellite collar to track his movements,” he said.

“It took so many very generous people from outside and from our province to save this animal. Without community involvement, tremendous generosity and the help of amazing people like Yolanda Botha, we would never have saved this animal. This shows how important the public can be in the conservation of iconic species.

Comments are closed.