For These Teddy Bears, Life Has Been No Picnic
by Kevin Mack, PAWS Wildlife Naturalist
Help these bears become wild again
- $70 feeds one orphaned cub for a week
- $100 provides IV fluids to help bear cub 08-2262 fight her infection
- $480 pays for an hour of anesthesia for a medical procedure and exam for one bear
- $500 covers X-rays for one bear cub
The total projected cost to provide food and medical supplies for these four cubs is more than $9,000, and PAWS Wildlife Center does not receive funding from any government agency for their care.
from individuals like you make it possible for PAWS to give these cubs
and thousands of other animals, a second chance at a free and wild
life. Please donate now.
the recent admissions at the PAWS Wildlife Center are any indication,
it has been a tough month for Washington State's Black Bears. Between
August 26 and September 10 PAWS received four bear cubs, all of which
had experienced traumatic events before coming under our care. The
following photos will give you a glimpse of each of these special
individuals as they began the rehabilitation process.
On August 26, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
brought two cubs to PAWS. They were orphaned siblings, a brother and
sister, whose mother had been struck and killed by a car on I-90 east
of North Bend. After losing their mother, the cubs had wandered to a
nearby campground where they were captured by WDFW agents. Upon arrival
at the wildlife center, the male cub was assigned the case number
08-2161. In this photo Wildlife Veterinary Student Extern Taralyn
Meusel examines the eyes of cub 08-2161.
Cub 08-2161 is uninjured and in good health. He weighed 40 pounds at admission.
photo was taken shortly after cub 08-2161 woke up from anesthesia. Note
the color of his fur. Although their common name is "Black Bear,” the
fur color of this species actually varies quite a bit from one
individual to the next. PAWS has received bears with fur that could be
described as sandy blonde, cinnamon, chocolate brown, and pure black.
In British Columbia there is a population of Black Bears known as
"Kermode" or "Spirit Bears" that are actually pure white in color.
sister of cub 08-2161 was given the case number 08-2162. She is quite a
bit smaller than her brother, weighing just under 25 pounds at
admission. Here she is under anesthesia awaiting a series of X-rays.
She too was found to be in good health, although she had a small
puncture in one of her eardrums. The veterinary staff is confident that
the puncture will heal on its own.
Here is cub 082162 after she recovered from anesthesia.
third bear cub arrived at PAWS on September 8 and was given the case
number 08-2262. She and her sibling had become orphans when their
mother was shot by a hunter. Cub 08-2262 clung to the body of her
mother after the shooting, but her sibling fled. WDFW agent Bruce
Richards (pictured here examining the cub in her transport container
after sedating her) rescued the cub. Unfortunately her sibling could
not be found.
08-2262 was depressed and lethargic when she arrived at the wildlife
center. She weighed 40 pounds. During her physical examination swelling
was noted on the left side of her head and snout, as well as in her
throat. She also had many broken teeth. The cause of these conditions
was not readily apparent. Fortunately, the broken teeth were baby
teeth, and an X-ray showed that the bear's adult teeth were still
intact and waiting to emerge. She was started on medications to reduce
the swelling in her head and on antibiotics to fight an apparent
days later Cub 08-2262 was given a follow-up exam. The swelling in her
head had worsened and, as this photo shows, both sides of her face were
her follow-up exam, cub 08-2262 was given IV fluids and was X-rayed
again. In this photo, PAWS Wildlife Veterinary Technician Jean
Leonhardt carries the sedated cub from the surgery room to radiology.
days after the follow-up exam, cub 08-2262 was starting to feel better.
The swelling in her face and throat had decreased and she was much more
active and energetic. She was moved out of the isolation room in which
she had been housed initially and into a much larger enclosure.
received another bear cub on September 10. This cub had wandered into
the City of Renton with his mother. He was darted by the WDFW for
relocation, but he quickly climbed a tree before the tranquilizer could
take effect. When the drugs finally did render him unconscious, he fell
from the tree breaking his jaw in the process. The WDFW agent on the
scene took the cub to a veterinary emergency clinic where his jaw
fracture was stabilized with wire. The agent then brought the bear to
PAWS for rehabilitation. He was assigned the case number 08-2282.
Cub 08-2282 is truly a black bear. He has gorgeous dark fur and a brown
snout. In this photo Taralyn monitors the cubs heart as he is under
anesthesia on the X-ray table.
Cub 08-2282 was quite a bit larger than the three bears who arrived
before him. He weighed more than 75 pounds. Here, Wildlife
Rehabilitator John Samaras carries the sedated bear from the surgery
room to the enclosure in which he will recover from anesthesia. Jean
monitors the bear's recovery.
Another look at cub 08-2282.
All four of these bear cubs will spend
the next several months growing and healing at PAWS. If all goes well,
they will go into their winter sleep here at the wildlife center and be
released into winter dens in the Cascade Mountains in January or
February. The cubs will remain isolated from human contact while they
are in care to ensure that they do not become habituated to our
presence. As their personal stories attest, a healthy fear of humans
will be their best defense when they are returned to the wild and free
lives they are meant to live.
Northwest leader in protecting animals since 1967, the Progressive
Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) shelters homeless animals, rehabilitates
injured and orphaned wildlife, and empowers people to demonstrate
compassion and respect for animals in their daily lives.
All rights reserved. ©2008 Progressive Animal Welfare Society
PAWS, P.O. Box 1037, Lynnwood, WA 98046