Acorn Bear (Cub #230) arrived at ABR in late November.  She had a leg wound that was sutured at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and by early January she had recovered enough that she was released into Wild Enclosure #2.  She is one of the larger yearlings now and the curators were observing her via high-definition photos as a potential release subject.  However, they noticed a lump on her stomach and were instructed by the UT vets to bring her in.  The problem was found to be a hernia, and she had to have surgery once again.  Today we share photos of the process, so you can see how very supportive of our mission the UTCVM is.

Here is a photo of Acorn Bear before she returned to UT.


Acorn Bear before surgery. The bald patch is from the leg wound surgery.

At UT she was anesthetized and her stomach was shaved in preparation for her surgery.

Acorn anesthetized

Acorn was anesthetized for surgery. We can see the hernia on her belly.

Acorn shaved

Dr. Sullivan shaved her belly.

She looked very different with her tummy shaved.

Acorn shaved belly

Acorn has a bare bear belly.

Dr. Sullivan operates

Dr. Sullivan operates on the draped Acorn Bear.

Dr. Sullivan sutured the incision, using stitches that will dissolve and won’t have to be removed.

Acorn post-surgery

Acorn post-surgery, showing the incision.

She was returned to ABR with orders to prevent her from climbing for the two weeks it will take for the sutured incision to heal.  She will be housed in this perimeter pen, modified to prevent her from climbing.

Modified pen

Modifications to keep Acorn confined.

Since climbing is so natural to bears, this arrangement will not make Acorn happy.

Acorn in pen

Acorn Bear in the modified pen. She looks a bit strange, but the fur will grow back.

We are sorry that it is not possible to communicate to Acorn Bear that this is for her own good and that in two weeks she will be able to go outside again.  It will be a difficult and likely a stressful time for her.