Not a beary good day: 275-pound black bear gets 3 root canals

Bear with us, we'll think of a pun soon. 🐻


No one likes root canals, but this was certainly a bear of an operation! Yum Yum, the 18-year-old American black bear from the Montgomery Zoo, recently went through a three-hour surgery for three root canals. For veterinary dentist Dr. Bert Gaddis, it’s just another wild day at work.

Gaddis has worked on all sorts of animals, like tigers, river otters and gorillas.

"Hippopotamus with a team of folks and an elephant with a team of folks. I think the smallest was a fruit bat," Gaddis says.

If you've ever experienced a root canal, you can understand what a bear of a procedure it is. Surprisingly, a bear and human root canal is not much different. The tools used for Yum Yum were much bigger, however.

Yum Yum’s surgery was a success and she’ll be beary grateful for Dr. Gladdis!