Rescued Muskoka bear cub recovering from successful surgery

a baby black bear stands on a log Photo by Photo by Chase Dekker/Shutterstock

A six-month-old bear cub is recovering from surgery after being struck by a vehicle in Bracebridge, Ont.

Earlier last week, the Bracebridge OPP received a call from a concerned motorist about an injured bear cub. When officers James Reading and Dean Ronson arrived to the area where the bear was last seen, the cub had climbed six-meters up a tree, but was barely holding on. The quick-thinking officers devised a plan to rescue the cub before it injured itself further.

“[They] wove traffic vests together to make a rescue blanket and were able to catch the cub before it hit the ground,” Provincial Const. Samantha Bigley told the Bracebridge Examiner.

Officers Ronson and Reading check on the rescued cub.
Officers Ronson and Reading check on the rescued cub.

The officers were joined by staff from the Bear With Us sanctuary and rehabilitation centre, who sedated the cub as soon as it was safely out of the tree. Throughout the rescue mission, the cub’s mother and sibling were across the road.

Afterwards, the cub was taken to the National Wildlife Centre, where X-rays showed that it had sustained a serious fracture in one of its front legs that required surgery.

After the rescue, the cub went for an initial evaluation and x-rays.
After the rescue, the cub went for an initial evaluation and x-rays.

Last Friday, the cub underwent surgery at the Mississauga-Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital and is now sporting a hot pink cast with painted images of Winnie the Pooh and the Chicago Cubs logo.

The cub's new cast features Winnie the Pooh and the Chicago Cub's logo.
The cub’s new cast features Winnie the Pooh and the Chicago Cub’s logo.

The cub has since been named Eyota (meaning “the great one”), by officer Ronson’s daughter.

The cub is now recovering at Bear With Us, where it’ll stay until it can be released back into the wild next summer.

While it may be your gut instinct to help an injured animal—it is important to remember that approaching any animal in the wild is dangerous, it is always better to call a professional onto the scene like our rescuers did here.