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Firefighters Safely Attend To Rhino With Toothache In Edinburgh Zoo

Rhino (1)
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Bertus, was first medicated by veterinary physicians, before firefighters had to work out how to winch the 8-year-old one-horned Indian rhino into a safe position for zoo staff to work.

A team of firefighters in Scotland who are more used to overseeing the lifting of heavy vehicles or debris from collapsed buildings, were brought into Edinburgh Zoo to help move a rhino before an operation could take place.

The crew from Newcraig hall fire station in Edinburgh described it as “one of the strangest special services” they have ever completed.

Picture; contributed

The station manager, Willie Pollard, said: “Being requested to support Edinburgh Zoo in the moving of their rhinoceros is one of the strangest special services I have undertaken.

The task of safely moving an animal of this size clearly presents a number of challenges.

But by jointly working with zoo staff, we were able to formulate a plan which involved winching and pulling equipment, using techniques normally used for either road traffic collisions involving heavy vehicles or in the event of a building collapse.

These techniques allowed us to reposition the animal, thereby creating a safe working space for the dental team to repair the tooth.”

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The rhino suffered from toothache.

Simon Girling, head vet at the zoo, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the help of the fire and rescue crew.

Bertus’s operation was a great success and even though it was a minor tooth operation, it involved a massive team of people all working together to ensure the operation went smoothly.”

Bertus the rhino. ContributedBertus has now made a full recovery from the procedure earlier this month and is eating comfortably, staff said.


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