PAWS Wildlife Center, partners help save black bear hit by car

VIDEO: PAWS Wildlife Center, partners help save black bear hit by car

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — A partnership of PAWS Wildlife Center, Woodland Park Zoo and the Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle helped a 260-pound female black bear receive a life-saving surgery.

PAWS officials said on Dec. 2, 2018, the black bear was hit by a car on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Officials with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) tracked down the injured bear with trained Karelian bear dogs and immobilized her.

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The WDFW then turned the bear over to the PAWS Wildlife Center.

“At the PAWS Wildlife Center, a 365-days-a-year hospital specializing in the care of sick and injured wildlife, the female bear received a physical examination and X-rays, which revealed multiple rib and pelvic fractures,” an official with PAWS Wildlife Center said in a news release.

On Dec. 13, the veterinary team at PAWS immobilized the bear again and turned her over to the Woodland Park Zoo for surgery.

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The zoo provided the use of its ambulance to safely transport the bear, as well as two highly trained veterinary technicians and their surgical facility, while a surgeon and team of veterinary technicians from the Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle performed the surgery to repair the bear’s broken pelvis.

“It took the efforts of three veterinarians and six veterinary technicians from the three groups to monitor her anesthesia and vital signs and secure the pelvic fragments into proper alignment with two metal plates,” an official with PAWS Wildlife Center said.

After post-operative X-rays verified the alignment of the bear’s pelvis and an ultrasound found no evidence of infection in the bear’s uterus, officials agreed further intervention was not needed.

The bear then returned to PAWS Wildlife Center and recovered in a straw bed in a secured enclosure.

A PAWS Wildlife Center care team re-evaluated the bear in mid-January and said since then, the bear has been “quietly healing” and her leg use “appears to be nearly normal.”