A two-year seal pup weighing 30kg (66lb) has taken a trip to the dentist's to remove a painful tooth.

Gemini, a South American fur seal with teeth like a large dog, had the extraction at Paignton Zoo in Devon because of an abscess.

Peter Kertesz, a leading London dentist and expert in animal dentistry, carried out the procedure, having previously been to the zoo to remove teeth from a gorilla and a tiger.

Evening Times:

(Paignton Zoo handout photo of two-year-old South American fur seal pup Gemini)

Zoo vet Jo Reynard, who was part of the team that removed Gemini's tooth, said said the abscess was found during a previous investigation.

"South American fur seals have long canines and a slender lower jaw," she said.

"A canine is always a challenge as it is a big tooth set well in to the bone. If this tooth is not removed, the abscess may eventually affect the structure of the jaw. This could well be life-threatening."

Gemini was born at the zoo's Living Coasts attraction in Torquay in June 2014 and, when her mother was unable to produce milk, keepers stepped in to feed her creamy fish milkshakes round the clock. They also taught her to swim.

In preparation for the operation, she was trained to go into a special travel crate and driven to the zoo by her keeper Libor Mach.

Several smaller teeth had to be removed in order to get at the canine but the operation was a success and Gemini soon recovered.

Evening Times:

(Paignton Zoo handout photo of two-year-old South American fur seal pup Gemini)

Mr Kertesz said: "Animals or people, it's all the same - they need treatment, they get treatment. The size is what varies - and the location. It is all about teamwork.

"People often ask me if it is fun working on gorillas and tigers. It certainly is not fun. It is very hard and serious work - the health and sometimes the life of a rare creature is in your hands."