Black Bear #18-2926 update

This past weekend, the rehabilitation staff have been keeping a close eye on the four bears in yard #1 of the Black Bear Complex – particularly Pink/Orange Tag. On Saturday, rehabilitator Kelsey reported, “Good news, all. Today, ‘elbow bear’ was our highest climber, up ~50 ft. in a tree.”

Last week, after Drs. Ernesto and Peach realized that the bear’s elbow fracture had not healed ideally, Dr. Ernesto reached out to Dr. Padron, the board-certified surgeon who operated on Pink/Orange Tag’s elbow. Dr. Padron responded but agreed that we just can’t predict what long-term implications this injury will have for the growing bear. December radiographs of the bear’s limb confirmed that the surgical screw is no longer in place; Dr. Padron believes it's not helping the bear at this point, but Dr. Padron would be hesitant to remove the screw since surgery will cause additional stress and could lead to another fracture.  Dr. Padron’s impression is that the bear has been compensating well and has shifted the weight-bearing forces to the outside part of the elbow.

All veterinarians agree that it’s a promising sign that the bear is able to walk and climb well – something that has only improved during the past couple of days. The staff will continue to monitor the bear in the half-acre yard and will take additional radiographs in the spring, as all bears get closer to release time.