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Behind-the-scenes photos show zoo keepers caring for endangered animals

Keepers encouraged the animals over with food before taking a closer look at their teeth, gums, ossicones, claws and other areas that they wouldn’t usually get close to.

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Keeper Richard Tyson uses peanut butter to check over Millie the sun bear. (SWNS)

By Ashley Pemberton via SWNS

These incredible behind-the-scenes photographs show zoo keepers caring for endangered animals as part of their regular health check up.

Staff at Chester Zoo can be seen checking the condition of Andean bears, Sun bears and one-horned rhinos as well as the giraffes, meerkats and panther chameleons.

Keepers encouraged the animals over with food before taking a closer look at their teeth, gums, ossicones, claws and other areas that they wouldn’t usually get close to.

Staff used feeding platforms to get up close to the 20ft tall giraffes to check their mouths for abscesses and keep them in top condition.

They also monitored the health of the zoo's Sun Bears, the smallest bear species there is, which were rescued from the wildlife trade in Cambodia.

Elsewhere, they were able to find a cracked tooth in one of the one-horned rhinos, which they were able to flush out and make sure there were no infections.

Kate Smith, Giraffe Keeper feeds Meru (male), Tula and Ola (females).(SWNS)
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Mark Brayshaw, curator of mammals at the zoo said: “There are lots of reasons keepers here at the zoo get up close to the animals in our care, but one of them is to check their health.

"For example, when a giraffe stands 20ft tall, a keeper won’t be able to see into their mouth but by hand feeding them on a platform, it gives us a chance to give them a good check over and to make sure everything looks okay.

“The one-horned rhinos have a great relationship with our keepers and will open their mouths wide, allow keepers to check inside, before getting some carrot as a reward.

“The sun bears here at Chester Zoo are really special. Not only are they the smallest bear species in the world, they were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in Cambodia.

“It’s really important that the animals here at Chester Zoo have the very best care.

"Many of the 20,000 animals that call us home are endangered and it’s vital that we work to protect these species, helping to prevent their extinction.”

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