The bears undergo major abdominal surgery (lasting up to eight hours) to remove the crude metal catheters or repair the "free-drip" hole from which bile was extracted. The veterinary team also repair the wide-spread damage to their battered and infected bodies.
When surgery is in progress, the veterinary team operates on the bear's abdomen and explores inside for hours at a time. Having thoroughly scrubbed the surgery from top to bottom and prepared instruments and equipment in preparation, qualified veterinary nurses are busy monitoring everything and checking that the bear is stable. Volunteer nurses are also present and with the rest of the team, endure backbreaking hours in surgery while our veterinary surgeon repairs the damage from the years of abuse suffered by every bear.
Following surgery, the veterinary nurses oversee the daily medication and care of the recovering bears, making sure that bitter-tasting antibiotics and pain-killers are cleverly disguised in thick and sweet fruity shakes, which have copious amounts of the bears' favourite food – honey!