On Thursday, November 11, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) contacted PAWS for assistance on examining a young bear found in an Issaquah Highlands stream. The bear, discovered in a neighbor’s creek, appeared as if he could not free himself from a logjam in the stream.
Upon examination at PAWS’ Wildlife Center, it was discovered that the bear—roughly one-year old weighing 135 pounds—had a bullet lodged in his spine. The bear was given a chance to fully recover overnight from the immobilization agents and anesthesia to see if he could use his hind legs.
On Friday morning, PAWS Wildlife Veterinarian, Dr. John Huckabee, examined the bear to find he had complete paralysis in his hind quarters. Unfortunately, the bear had to be humanely euthanized to end his suffering.
PAWS is saddened by this situation but we are pleased that our partnership with WDFW enabled us to assist in the examination and to act quickly in curtailing the suffering for this young bear. We are deeply angered that someone could have shot this bear and let him suffer so.
WDFW is currently carrying out an investigation on the bear shooting. The bullet lodged in the bear's spine will help provide clues about the shooting. If you have any information that can assist in the investigation please contact Captain Bill Hebner at 425.775.1311 x115.
Bears are generally shy, and they try to avoid contact with humans as much as possible however, this is becoming increasingly challenging for them as neighborhoods appear in what was formerly bear habitat.
WDFW provides very useful information about living with Black Bears to ensure you are not accidentally creating an environment that could attract bears and cause dangerous conflicts. If you find a bear that you think needs help, call PAWS at 425.412.4040 before attempting to approach, pick up or contain the animal.