Veterinarians from the UT College of Veterinary Medicine made a house call to ABR to examine Hawkins Bear.  When Curator Janet studied the recent trail cam footage of Hawkins,  she noticed a laceration on his lower jaw.  She sent the footage to Dr. Ramsay at UTCVM he decided that this house call was needed.  Dr. Ramsay, Dr. Morrison and an assistant came to check the yearling. They had to sedate him for the exam, and were able to weigh him while he was asleep.


Hawkins on the scale. He weighed 85.5 pounds!

When he arrived after the accident a month ago, he weighed 61.5 pounds.  All that good food at ABR has helped him to gain nearly 25 pounds!

Dr. Ramsay found that he had an abscessed tooth, and gave him a shot of antibiotics.  He also prescribed a week of oral antibiotics, pain meds  and a soft food diet.  Should it be necessary to extract the tooth, it will require another trip to the vet school.

Hawkins - exam

Curator Coy with Dr. Morrison and her assistant as they examine Hawkins Bear.

So it seems that Hawkins Bear will spend more time in his Acclimation Pen.  Hopefully the antibiotics and pain meds will take care of the problem and it won’t be necessary to extract the tooth.

Meanwhile, Otto Bear showed off his climbing skills as he was spotted in a tree and photographed as he descended with the skill of a real wild bear.


Otto had climbed up this tree and looked very comfy there.


Maybe he decided it was time for a snack. He started to climb down.


Bear cub paws and claws are made for tree climbing – up or down.


Otto looks to see how much farther to the ground.


Made it! Now to find some food.

It is amazing that a little cub like Otto, orphaned before he had a chance to learn the tree climbing lesson from his mother, is able to climb easily and skillfully.  It shows how much of a bear’s behavior is instinctive.