A brown bear with toothache was visited by a dentist at aSouth Gloucestershire wildlife park.

Neo, a four-year-old European brown bear, underwent root canal work to treat an abscess at the base of one of his canine teeth.

His keepers noticed the his tooth had become fractured soon after Neo became active following seven weeks of torpor – a slightly lighter form of hibernation.

The operation was performed inside one of the bear dens at the Wild Place Project in South Gloucestershire by veterinary dentist Martin Brice.

He was assisted by the conservation project's in-house vets Michelle Barrows and Charlotte Day.

Mr Brice, of Emerson's Green Veterinary Surgery, said: “I’m used to treating much smaller, domestic patients at my clinic in Bristol and it’s always a pleasure to be asked to help out with dental procedures on zoo animals.

"Neo’s root canal surgery was essential to treat the infection that caused the abscess.

“It is possible that he might require further treatment in around six months as he’s quite a young bear and his teeth may not yet be fully mature.”

Neo was under general anaesthetic for around three hours, which also allowed zoo vets to carry out a full health check.

The Wild Wood Project is run by Bristol Zoological Society.

Michelle Barrows, head of veterinary services and conservation medicine at the society, said: “We regularly carry out visual checks on our animals, however a general anaesthetic provides the perfect opportunity to get up-close to our larger and more dangerous species and carry out diagnostic tests as well as physically assess their condition.

“As expected, Neo had lost some weight following torpor but is still in good body condition. His other results came back all clear and he has made a quick recovery following his dental work."

Wild Place Project is located just off junction 17 of the M5.