See ya later alligator: St. Augustine albino gator with jaw deformity says goodbye to 3 teeth

Mr. Bones is an albino American alligator who recently had a date with the dentist

Mr. Bones is ready for dental work. (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX - All rights reserved.)

ST. AUGUSTINE – Mr. Bones is a resident of the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, and recently, he’s been dealing with some dental issues.

The albino alligator has a chronic jaw malformation of unknown origin that doesn’t allow him to open his mouth very wide which is making it hard for him to eat, the University of Florida said in a recent Facebook post.

Zookeepers realized if he had some teeth taken out that he will be able to have enough room to fit larger prey in his mouth. And of course, they turned to a fellow gator to take on this task — Dr. Bridget Walker from the University of Florida’s Zoological Medicine program.

Here’s how she did it.

First, Dr. Walker gave Mr. Bones some mild sedation and then numbed part of his jaw with a nerve block before pulling three of his front teeth. He also received an antibiotic injection as well as some longer-lasting pain medication to keep him comfortable post-procedure. Now, Mr. Bones can go back to his regular eating habits, chomping away at the raw chicken he’s fed daily.

And it just so happens that today is National Alligator Day which is meant to raise awareness of the American alligator throughout the state of Florida.

Mr. Bones gets teeth pulled. (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX - All rights reserved.)
Dr. Bridget Walker with UF Zoological Medicine gives a shot to Mr. Bones (University of Florida)

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