We never know what the day may bring.  When working with animals, there are many challenges and a day can go from extreme sadness to happiness in a matter of hours.  So it was today.  The sadness came early, when it was discovered that Bear #242, nicknamed “Star” for the white blaze on her chest, was found dead in Wild Enclosure #3.  It appeared that she had made herself a daybed, and lay down to take a nap from which she did not wake up.  Star Bear had arrived on January 18 and a week later was released into Wild Enclosure #3.  She seemed to be doing well.  The curator took her body to the UT College of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy.  When we have the results, perhaps we’ll know if she had a hidden problem that was not apparent. Each tragedy is a learning experience and helps us to learn more about the care of these orphaned bears.  Here is a recent photo of Star in a tree.

Star Bear

Star Bear appeared to be doing well.

A few hours later, we welcomed Bear #244, Bailey Bear, back to ABR!  If you recall, Bailey was only with us for one night before she escaped from her pen on January 28th.  TWRA had set traps and people in the area where she was originally found were alerted to be on the lookout.  Sure enough, she was spotted and calls were made, and Bailey Bear was returned to ABR.  She was placed in the Cub Garage, which is very secure, for now.  She immediately started to eat.  You can be sure she will be watched carefully, and we hope to have her with us until she is healthy and fat enough for a springtime release.  Here is Bailey in her pen in the Cub Garage.

Bailey Bear

Bailey Bear is back at ABR!

As we said at the beginning of this post, sometimes a day can have extreme lows and equally extreme highs within hours of each other.  We say “Rest in Peace” to Star Bear and “Welcome back” to Bailey Bear.  We never know what the next day will bring.