Ted, Bucky, Cub Room - UPDATE March 12, 2018

A highlight today was visiting Ted to pick up the scat we saw deposited some days ago. He came out squinting in the sun and bright snow to give his welcoming grunts and a lick. When I carried the scats out the gate, Ted came, too. Ted squintingTed squintingThrough the fence he gave another lick and some kind words but then turned to looking for a treat. I would have brought one, but we try not to feed the bears in winter. It’s a time when most wild bears eat nothing and lose weight. These captives will gain enough during the active season. We are especially careful about weight gain with Ted because he doesn’t walk well when he is too heavy. The veterinarians tell us to not overfeed the bears—especially him. The scat was mostly straw, very light weight and dried out—probably from sitting in Ted’s large intestine for awhile. One of the functions of the large intestine is to recover water.

Lynn with Ted Lynn with Ted
Lynn visiting Ted

Lynn and BuckyLynn with BuckyA bittersweet moment was seeing Bucky in the live trap a nice Lily Fan sent to us. It’s a remotely triggered trap—probably the only way we would have caught him as shy as he was. I pushed the button, the trap closed, Bucky jumped, and went calmly back to feeding. I called our veterinarian and brought Bucky in. The picture is of me in the waiting room worried about what the veterinarian would say about him. The veterinarian quickly saw the situation and said it was hopeless. He said he could snip off the teeth, but they would grow right back, and Bucky had already experienced too much pain. He not only had the curved upper incisor that was visible outside his mouth, he had a lower incisor that had grown up through the roof of his mouth causing the bump on his nose. He also had a second upper incisor we never noticed. It curved back into his mouth and up into the roof of his mouth toward the brain. He said Bucky had no chance for survival and that it would be inhumane to let him suffer any more. He humanely and painlessly euthanized Bucky. We had all been pulling for him, anxious to get him to the vet, hoping for the best.

Cub roomCub roomOn the up side, I’ve never seen the Cub Room look so bad. It’s a sign of progress. By the time we open, it will look better. It couldn’t look any worse. What looks like drawings on the walls is glue from the carpet that was removed. The floor will get new carpet, too. Actually, what the designers are working on with us will be dynamite. Looking forward to it, feeling thankful to all the Lily Fans who contributed toward it the last two GiveMN campaigns.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center