The BBC recorded the operation on film " />

Surgeons operate on elephant at Tbilisi Zoo to remove tusk

The BBC recorded the operation on film

 Elephant Grandi

Veterinarian surgeons operated on one of Tbilizi Zoo’s resident elephants, and removed a tusk.

The operation began this morning. It took half an hour to put the elephant under anesthesia.


The zoo reported earlier on its Facebook page that only part of the tusk was removed, and that the operation was continuing. The process was filmed by the BBC in Tbilisi, who intends to release an hour-long film about the zoo.

The operation was performed outside in Grand’s enclosure. Photographers and video operators were given the opportunity to capture the first 15 minutes of the surgeons’ robots at work.

Grand, an Asiatic elephant, arrived in Tbilisi from the Yerevan Zoo in 2014 with his tusks already damaged. Elephants cannot be left for long in this condition, as it can lead to death.

The first operation was performed in 2014. The veterinarians were only able to remove one tusk at the time due to complications which arose during the surgery. The operation took 11 hours, and the elephant was unable to get back on its feet for a while after.

A clip from 2014:

The veterinarian surgeons who operated on Grand today are South African.

More on JAMnews