Bear recovers after surgery

The black bear treed in Kennydale a couple weeks ago is on the mend. He underwent surgery on May 5 to fix his dislocated right hip and fractured hip bone.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Friday, May 30, 2008 2:44pm
  • News
This black bear was tranquilized after climbing into a tree in Kennydale.

This black bear was tranquilized after climbing into a tree in Kennydale.

250 pounder

caused a stir

in Kennydale

The black bear treed in Kennydale a couple weeks ago is on the mend. He underwent surgery on May 5 to fix his dislocated right hip and fractured hip bone.

The Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle performed the operation at the Woodland Park Zoo’s surgery center. The 2-year-old bear is recovering at PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood.

“He’s doing OK,” says PAWS spokeswoman Mary Leake Schilder. “He still hasn’t put any weight on his leg, but he is showing improvement. Every day he’s becoming more mobile. He’s eating. So now we’re just in the stage of waiting and seeing how he progresses through recovery.”

The 250-pound bear is recovering in a big enclosed room with logs and a pool of water. The roof has caging, so he gets fresh air. The walls are not windowed, so he can’t see people passing by.

Recovery is left to him, Leake Schilder says.

“We try to stay as hands off as much as we can with all our animals,” she says, especially the wild animals.

PAWS monitors the bear’s progress on a video camera installed in his run.

“He’ll stay with us through recovery, with the goal of hopefully returning back to the wild,” Leake Schilder says.

Bruce Richards plans to take the recovered bear back to the wild. Richards is an officer for Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife. He’s the guy who got the bear down from the Kennydale tree, by shooting him with two tranquilizer darts, and then roping one of the bear’s legs. The rope slipped off the bear and he fell backward out of the tree into a tarp net on the ground, from about 60 to 70 feet up.

PAWS is unsure whether his injuries came from the fall.

It took several safety officials to roll the bear in the tarp and load him in an animal-control truck. He was then taken to Richard’s Enumclaw home, where he stayed in a large tube for a couple days.

The bear was first spotted by a Kennydale woman who noticed the bear in her yard when she went outside to tend to her barking dog. She called 911. The bear then meandered down Aberdeen Avenue Northeast before ending up in a cedar tree on Northeast 16th Street.

The bear sighting was the first for many Kennydale residents.

Emily Garland can be reached at emily.garland@reporternewspapers.com or (425) 255-3484, ext. 5052.


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