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How the king of the jungle was felled - by a fur ball!

Tiny undergoes the vital surgery
Tiny undergoes the vital surgery

His name may be Tiny but he weighs in at around 200kg and is king of the jungle.

But Tiny the African lion was at the mercy of modern medicine after getting a lion-sized hairball stuck in his stomach.

Tiny, who lives with his two brothers at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Smarden, had been taken seriously ill and was vomiting frequently when vets decided he needed surgery.

He had to be anaesthetised using a dart and blowpipe by John Kenward, senior vet at Pets Ltd veterinary surgery in Bearsted Road, Weavering, Maidstone, to be brought in.

The surgical team, led by surgeon Mark Fosbery and head nurse Rita Johnson, spent several hours operating to remove the large doughy mass of horse hair in his stomach.

A three foot-long length of inflamed gut also had to be removed before Tiny was given five litres of fluid and stretchered back to his enclosure.

Luckily Tiny came through the life-threatening surgery well, and is back in full roaring form.

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