Apologies for the loooong delay in posting – computer issues have prevented posts for the last few weeks. So the Big News is that ABR received the first needy little bear of the year.

Bear #282, nicknamed Hartley Bear, arrived from Kentucky on Valentines Day. He was one of the neediest little bears we have ever seen. A yearling (13 months old) he weighed not quite 12 pounds when he was found in a ditch. Here is a photo of him before rescue.

Bear#282, Hartley Bear, a very underweight and malnourished yearling from Kentucky.

You might have noticed that his face is bare of fur. At his UT exam skin scrapings were taken. The scrapings did not show mites that cause mange, which was the first concern. After his exam, he was taken to ABR and housed in the Cub Nursery.

Hartley Bear in the Cub Nursery.

Usually the Cub Nursery is reserved for cubs, but Hartley’s fragile condition mandated the nursery for him. He had to be fed very small amounts of Bear Milk Replacement formula every 2-3 hours. The small servings were to prevent “refeeding syndrome.” If fed too much when he was starving, it could have caused his death.

After a week at ABR Hartley went back to UTCVM for a checkup. He had made progress and his feedings were increased. He was also moved from the Cub Nursery to the Red Roof Recovery Center, which gives him more space and a larger pen to explore.

Hartley Bear enjoying his larger portion of food in the Red Roof Recovery Center.

He climbed up the side of the pen when he heard the curator approach.

In this photo we can see the fur loss. It’s not just on his face. Patches of fur are missing from his legs and paws, his back, and his stomach. The vets believe that the fur loss is due to his extreme malnutrition and that as he eats better food it will gradually grow back. They have cautioned that he may lose more fur before that happens, however.

We hope to be more consistent with posts now that the computer problems have been taken care of (fingers crossed). It will be good to see our needy little bear increase in health and strength. He has a long recovery period ahead of him, but he seems to have the fighting spirit of a typical yearling bear.