Aspen bear ‘still not out of the woods’ |

Aspen bear ‘still not out of the woods’

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Correspondent
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Courtesy Lindsay Smith

A tiny yearling black bear found recently on the back of Aspen Mountain remained in critical care Friday at a veterinary hospital in Fruita.

“We’re still not out of the woods,” said Laurie Tyre, office manager at Arrowhead Veterinary Services.

The bear is ill and undergoing treatment for a gastrointestinal issue, Tyre said. It is being kept in isolation.

“As of today, [the bear is] showing some response to the treatment,” she said Friday.

A woman found the bear near Midnight Mine Road on March 8 and managed to transport it to the Aspen Animal Shelter. From there, it was taken to the Colorado Division of Wildlife office in Glenwood Springs and then to the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation’s rehabilitation center near Silt, where it was cared for briefly before it was turned over to the veterinary hospital for more intensive medical care.

Once it’s well enough, it will be transferred back to the wildlife center, Tyre said.

It’s not the first time the hospital has counted a bear among its patients, she added.

Although it’s a year old, the bear, reportedly a female, weighed just 13 pounds when it was found. It was likely underweight when it began hibernating; it should have emerged in the spring weighing 30-plus pounds, according to the wildlife rehabilitation center’s founder, Nanci Limbach.

The bear could have died in its den, had it remained there, according to Limbach, who described the animal as “at death’s door” when it arrived at the wildlife center.

The little bear’s plight captured the attention of television news stations in both Grand Junction and Denver.

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