RAMONA, Calif.—After a year of medical care and rehabilitation from a severe case of mange – including gaining 120 pounds - the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center has determined that Eve, the hairless “bare bear rescued on Christmas Eve 2017, is not suited for survival on her own in the wild. The difficult decision is the best one for her because she still lacks a proper full fur coat which makes cold weather, hibernating and interactions with other bears and wildlife problematic.
In making the announcement, Matthew Anderson, director of the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, said: “This beautiful resilient bear arrived last December with the worst case of mange we have ever seen, which was then followed by a secondary skin infection. Our expert team treated her but her inability to grow a full fur coat means that releasing her is simply no longer an option. She will require life-long care and a special environment to help protect her from potential skin damage. There is no doubt that without our intervention, Eve would not have survived. Her journey thus far with our dedicated team of wildlife experts has been challenging but also incredibly enriching for her and all of us here. This spring she will be ready to go to her wonderful forever home and go on to live a long and fulfilling life at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, our sister affiliate with the Humane Society of the United States, where she will join the over 800 other residents on the 1,400 acre property.”
Eve’s appearance is now almost unrecognizable from the diminutive 30 pound stature she presented after being rescued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and transferred to the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center. This American black bear had sadly been involved in some un-bearlike behaviors before her rescue, including dumpster diving.
As a result, she arrived emaciated and also had an extreme case of sarcoptic mange (caused by mites) which had resulted in total hair loss. She received around the clock medical care at the wildlife center and despite her initial complications was almost immediately able to begin a proper bear diet including a wide array of fruits and berries, veggies, nuts, fish and honey. After a few months with the mange under control, she was able to move from an indoor treatment area to her own outdoor enclosure replete with trees, logs, a climbing platform, den and pool. As the focus was always to be able to re-introduce Eve back into her native Californian habitat, human contact from the team was kept to a minimum in the hope of retaining her innate wild bear behaviors.
Now that it has been determined that she cannot be released new enriching toys and activities have been introduced to her by the staff who are working closely with her to get her ready for her move to her new forever home in the spring.
The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch and the Humane Society of the United States are committed to Eve's care and she will remain in Ramona until enough funds are raised for completion of her new state of the art, large habitat that Eve can forever call home. The safe, beautiful, wooded habitat will support her physical, social and psychological needs.
Anderson added, “We know it won't be easy or inexpensive to care for her forever – bears typically cost around $500 a week! Despite bears not being cheap house-guests, our teams here at the Wildlife Center and at our ranch in Texas will make sure that she gets everything she needs for the rest of her life.”
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For photos and video of Eve’s year at the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, click here.