It is with great sadness that we must report the death of little Fergus Bear.  We last reported that Fergus seemed to be doing well, eating and eliminating normally.  We had hopes of his eventual introduction to Finnegan.  However, that was not to be.  Curator Coy observed that Fergus was sucking and biting on his left paw.  This was something he had not done before, and Coy was alarmed. He took Fergus to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine where Dr. Ramsay and his team examined the little bear.  They found that the leg was badly infected.  The antibiotics, which were supposed to help the cub’s own immune system fight the infection, had not been able to overcome the deep-seated infection that had spread throughout the leg.  The only humane decision was to euthanize the cub.  Reluctantly, Curator Coy agreed.  A necropsy will be performed, and perhaps we will learn something more about the underlying problem that caused this.


RIP, cub #254 – Fergus Bear.

It is always heart-breaking when we lose one of our bears.  Caring for young and/or injured animals is not easy and there are no guarantees. We do the best we can, and our staff of committed curators with the help of the wonderful veterinarians at UTCVM are successful most of the time.  Occasionally something like this happens, and we must carry on; hopefully having learned from the experience.  We can gain a measure of comfort in the knowledge that Fergus lived his last week in a warm place with good food rather than alone in the woods.