Thanks to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, a young bear cub survived being shot and hit by a car.
The cub was picked up and transported to the wildlife sanctuary after being found on Highway 400, just outside of Parry Sound, Ontario. He was discovered by a member of the OPP, who picked him up, put him in the back of the cruiser, and then called the nearby Aspen Valley.
“He was quite a mess,” Howard Smith, managing director of the sanctuary, told Muskokaregion.com. It was clear that the cub had been hit on the highway and was suffering from a broken front leg and a number of other lacerations around his stomach and groin.
But what they found when the cub was brought to the vet for X-rays was even more shocking—it had also been shot.
According to Smith, the veterinarian estimated that the incident happened three-to-four weeks before it had been hit on the highway. In fact, it’s likely that the gunshot wound played a part in the incident, since there was no indication that he’d been with his mother, and the injury would have slowed him down.
When the cub was first brought to the sanctuary, he was only 18 pounds, which is below average for a bear his age. Since arriving, he’s put on weight, his broken leg has been pinned, and his wounds have been stitched. It’s too early to tell if he’ll need further surgery in the future, but Smith said he will receive regular check-ups.
“Some of the stitches had come loose a little bit when we had his leg looked at the other day so we had to have those re-stitched, but so far I think he’s doing okay,” Smith said.
He’s joined five other orphaned cubs, who live together in Aspen Valley’s giant outdoor enclosure, which is filled with boxes covered in straw that the bears use for hibernation.
“They go into them and basically pull the straw in and they’ll hibernate probably in December and sleep until next April,” Smith said.
When the cubs wake up in the spring, the sanctuary plans to release them back into the wild.