" --IANS/EFE"
Mexico City, July 24 (IANS/EFE) A team of surgeons and veterinarians in Mexico implanted a titanium lower jaw in a bear that was mutilated, an official said.

The bear, named Invictus, underwent surgery Sunday and already shows clear signs of recovery and has a big appetite, director of Mexico's Bioparque Convivencia Pachuca animal refuge Ericka Ortigoza told EFE news agency. We have even heard the first growl.

Invictus is a male between the ages of seven and 10, she said.

He was rescued from a circus in the Yucatan peninsula several months ago and brought to the Bioparque May 10.

Animal handlers at the circus cut off or ripped off most of his lower jaw and many of his teeth, apparently to prevent the bear from biting.

The procedure to implant a new lower jaw and cover it with organic tissue took six hours, Ortigoza said.

After a rehabilitation period expected to last eight months, Invictus will go to a permanent home at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, which has already accepted 10 lions and four coyotes from the Bioparque refuge, she said.

--IANS/EFE

ab/rd


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