A circus performer has had prehistoric ivory from a mammoth tusk implanted as teeth because he could not bear to part from it during his divorce.

Hannibal Helmurto, of the Circus of Horrors, did not want to split a 40,000-year-old mammoth tusk he purchased in 1993 with his wife when they recently got divorced.

The sword wielding circus performer, who is appearing at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon this weekend, decided to have the tooth fitted into his own mouth instead.

Mr Helmurto, who is is covered from head to toe in more than 200 tattoos, said: "I could bare to loose everything but not my ivory. It originated from Siberia and was my closest possession so the only way of keeping it was to go to a dentist and have it implanted into my mouth."

Croydon was the scene of Mr Helmurto's debut show and he will certainly have mixed emotions about the borough.

Prior to the show opening he set a new Guinness World Record by pulling a four ton truck 100 meters with only two meat hooks rammed through his back.

He then made his first appearance with the show and while everything seemed to be running smoothly, danger was lurking just around the corner. While swallowing a four-foot long sabre in front of a packed Fairfield Halls, he injured his throat.

Due to an infection to his larynx the sword pierced the inside of his respiratory tract.

He was rushed to St George's Hospital in Tooting where surgeons debated whether or not to operate. It was decided to leave the throat to repair itself and he was kept in intensive care for three weeks.

Mr Helmurto, who hails from Germany, first saw the Circus of Horrors in his home town of Munich. He said: “At the time I was working as a tax inspector for the German government. I did not have one tattoo or piercing but after seeing the show I knew I had to join it.”

The Circus of Horrors will appear at Croydon's, Fairfield Halls on January 11.