We have sad news today. Our most recent little yearling, #370, Sparky Bear, had to be euthanized at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. He seemed to be improving since he arrived a week ago, but it was obvious that he had been starving for quite some time, since his weight (9 pounds) was a fraction of what he should have weighed at the age of 14 months.

He was taken back to UTCVM when it appeared that he was experiencing some pain and mobility issues. The vets who examined him concluded that his joints would never be normal, and he would not be able to live a good life in the wild. They made the difficult recommendation to end his suffering humanely, and the decision was confirmed by the park service, who was responsible for him.

It had seemed that as he began to eat food that was nourishing his little body could not handle it. A necropsy will be performed, to see if that sheds some light on the condition.

It is always heartbreaking to lose a little bear who has been rescued, but the consolation is that he had a final week of love, care, and security, and  his short life didn’t end in terror and pain.


Rest in peace, little Sparky Bear.