According to the report, the orcas at Loro Parque have between 41.66 percent and around 70 percent of the teeth on their lower jaws damaged, depending on the individual.
While dental problems may seem superficial, they can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation. The stressed orcas will gnaw on their tanks almost compulsively, wearing them down until they expose the pulp.
As with human teeth, the exposed pulp can act as a portal to the bloodstream, potentially allowing deadly infections to take root. As a result, SeaWorld - or in this case, the carers at Loro Parque - drill out the teeth, a painful procedure akin to a root canal that's performed without anesthesia.