Some time ago, a group of monks in Myanmar rescued two cubs of Asiatic black bear from being illegally sold in China. However, they quickly realized one of the cubs wasn’t alright, as its tongue had grown so big that the animal couldn’t even shut his mouth. After one unsuccessful procedure, a team of veterinarians managed to remove the excess tissue from the bear’s tongue, and it can now continue living its peaceful life.
The bear had a swollen tongue which weighed 6.5 pounds
The monks called the sick little bear Nyan htoo, which means ‘clever’, and took it to the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center owned by Animals Asia. There, veterinarians noticed how the animal’s tongue became so big that it no longer fit in its mouth. In 2016, they performed a surgery on the bear, but the organ started growing again.
The tongue kept growing until it became so long that it the bear was dragging it down on the floor. Apart from the incredible pain it caused to the poor animal, it raised the risk of infections. Therefore, veterinarians knew they had to intervene again.
After a four-hour long procedure, they finally managed to remove about 6.5 pounds of tissue from the bear’s tongue. Now, Nyan htoo can close its mouth, and no longer suffers from the extreme pain and pressure which was put on its head.
The swollen tongue might have been a symptom of a mosquito-borne disease
Veterinarians aren’t sure about the cause of this unusual condition. They assumed it was an effect of lymphatic filariasis, a mosquito-borne illness which causes extreme swelling of different body parts. This effect is called elephantiasis, and it quite common in people living in Myanmar. However, this is the first time when it affects a bear.
Nyan htoo is now a healthy bear, as its tongue has reached a normal size. It can now eat properly, close its mouth, and its head and jaw are no longer under extreme pressure. Veterinarians are happy they could finally cure the animal, and will keep it under close observation to make sure its condition doesn’t get worse again.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons