Professor Gerhard Steenkamp, who teaches courses in dentistry and maxillofacial surgery of animals at Tuks Faculty of Veterinary Science, and Professor Adrian Tordiffe, a veterinary wildlife specialist, performed the five-hour surgery on the elephant.
It was revealed by the university that Ninio, as the elephant is affectionately known, suffered from a severe infection in July after a crack appeared at the bottom of his right tusk.
Tordiffe and Steenkamp first treated Ninio at the zoo in 2012 and 2013, when they extracted his left tusk. In 2015, they returned to Poland because Ninio had damaged his right tusk. Tordiffe said that Ninio had probably one of the biggest tusks they had ever dealt with
He said he dealt mainly with the anaesthesia and that a drug called etorphine, used in veterinary practice as a potent tranquillising painkiller for large animals, was used to help Ninio with the pain and putt him to sleep for the operation.