Battered Bear On The Mend

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - 3:38pm

Badly injured bear found in Florida backyard recovering after surgery.

A seriously injured black bear is recovering after it was found lying motionless in a Florida couple's backyard.

The 280-pound black bear was taken to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for treatment.

"I would expect he's going to be hurting for a while," said Joanna Fitzgerald, the director of the Conservancy's Wildlife Rehab Center.

The homeowners that found the bear called Florida Fish and Wildlife, who tranquilized and then rescued the injured animal and brought it to a local veterinarian.

"We thought at first it was a gunshot," said Dr. Jeffrey Noble of the St. Francis Animal Clinic.

Noble and his team got to work, examining the wound that he says likely happened two or three days ago.

He says the bear was probably hit by a car.

It was injured so badly that several ribs were broken and a lung had collapsed.

"So what we did was treat for shock, put an IV and catheter, put in fluids, antibiotics and we took radiographs," Noble said.

Noble was able to clean and close the wound, but the treatment and surgeries aren't over yet.

Fitzgerald says because of the seriousness of the bear's condition, it'll stay at the Wildlife Rehab Center for treatment and observation for several weeks.

"He's got a collapsed lung. He's in a very stressful situation," she said.

The Conservancy hasn't seen a bear in their clinic for several years, but they successfully rehabilitate more than 2,500 animals each year.

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