(Zamba appeared in several commercials, TV specials and was the
roaring MGM lion at the start of movies: enlarge)
MEAD, Wash. – How do you move a 700-pound lion to the dentist? Carefully and only after two rounds of tranquilizers. Handlers at Cat Tales Zoological Park in North Spokane moved Zamba the lion to a special pen for the procedure Friday afternoon.
Zamba sheared-off two of his teeth on a wire fence about one month ago, according to Mike Wyche, executive director of Cat Tales.
"Ever since the tooth broke, we've started the process of putting today together," said Wyche.
A dentist and anesthesiologist were brought in to tranquilize the cat and perform two root canals for the cat Wyche says has a, "movie star smile."
Wyche says Zamba appeared in several commercials, TV specials and was the roaring MGM lion at the start of movies before retiring to Cat Tales approximately six years ago.
Doctors administered the first round of tranquilizers around 1 p.m. to Zamba, who refused to go to sleep. A second round was administered about 90 minutes later, prompting the giant cat to slump over after several minutes.
Seven people gently carried Zamba to the next door pen where the dentist performed the root canals.
The two procedures are expected to take at least two hours, according to Wyche who said Zamba should recover fully within a few days.