Malnourished bear found in Aspen recovering

Posted By: Selma Al-Faqih on March 12, 2010 8:38 am

The tiny, malnourished bear rescued off the back of Aspen Mountain nearly two weeks ago is back at a wildlife rehabilitation center near Silt, where it’s dining on a mixture of applesauce and rice, yogurt, berries and melons.

Two weeks ago a woman found the small, malnourished bear off the back of Aspen Mountain. She took it to the Aspen Animal Shelter. It has been recovering at a wildlife rehab center near Silt, Colorado. The female is eating applesauce and rice, yogurt, berries and melons, is about a year old and has gained about 5 pounds, say caregivers.

According to the Aspen Times, the bear, judged to be a year old, weighed just 13 pounds when it was found. It was likely underweight when it began hibernating last fall; it should have emerged in the spring weighing 30-plus pounds, according to the wildlife rehabilitation center’s founder, Nanci Limbach, who described the animal as “at death’s door” when it arrived at the center the first time.

The bear has no contact with humans at the center, except those tasked with keeping it fed.

“She’s 18 pounds now, so just within a week’s time, she’s gained five pounds,” said Limbach, who hopes to see the bear putting on 7 to 10 pounds a week, as it gets stronger. Ideally, the bear will weigh 50 to 60 pounds by the time she’s released — probably in June.