Motaba the gorilla is prepared for dental surgery at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Picture: Tess Follett Source:

Sunday Herald Sun

A STEADY hand and nerves of steel are needed to pull a tooth from this jungle giant.

Werribee Open Range Zoo’s silverback gorilla Motaba made a trip to the operating table this week to check his teeth, ears and eyes.

A previous ear infection had improved, but a lower molar was found to be decaying and had to be extracted.

Veterinary dental specialist Stephen Coles and dentist Leon Strauch extracted the tooth while eye specialists checked the 160kg ape’s peepers.

Zoo vet Natalie Rourke said Motaba seemed fit after the examination.

We don’t yet have results, but all in all we were very happy with how our elder statesman checked out

Dr Rourke said

Motaba is part of the $3.6 million Gorillas Calling exhibit recently opened at Werribee Zoo