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Syrian brown bear undergoes back surgery in Israel

Mango the bear treated at the Ramat Gan Zoological Park for a slipped disc

by Ruth Schuster, Haaretz

May 7, 2014 | 3:15 pm

<em>Zoo staff stand beside Mango, a 19-year-old Syrian brown bear, during preparations before his surgery at the Ramat Gan Safari near Tel Aviv on May 7. Photo by Nir Elias/Reuters</em>

Zoo staff stand beside Mango, a 19-year-old Syrian brown bear, during preparations before his surgery at the Ramat Gan Safari near Tel Aviv on May 7. Photo by Nir Elias/Reuters

Mango the brown bear was clearly in pain, as his keepers at Israel’s Ramat Gan Zoological Park observed some three weeks ago. He was eating well, but his walk had slowed and he clearly didn’t like getting up. Sure, there was clearly a problem, but just try asking a bear where it hurts.

After a few days with no improvement, the zoo called in the A-team: a team of experts from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, headed by Merav Shamir, an expert on veterinary neurology and neurosurgery.

For the purposes of examination, as is normal procedure with large scary animals, the unhappy Syrian brown bear – whose fur is actually more of a honey-blond color - was knocked out by the zoo’s in-house veterinarian, Igal Horowitz. A long series of X-rays and tests found the problem: Mango had a slipped disc between his second and third vertebrae.

Read more on Haaretz.com.

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