On Sunday afternoon, January 1, a private citizen in Madison County heard a loud noise and went to investigate. She found our beloved Big Bear in a prone position, unable to stand or escape. The patient was apparently muttering unintelligible expletives. The rescuer (Mrs. Big Bear) threw a blanket over Big Bear in order to safely capture him and prevent hypothermia, then called paramedics.
The patient was captured, restrained and transferred to the hospital where it was discovered that Big Bear had sustained a fractured femur, close to the hip joint. Surgical repair was planned for Monday, January 2.
The surgery was completely successful; doctors predict a complete recovery. Within 24 hours, the patient was able to stand, put weight on the injured leg, walk short distances, and even climb stairs. Nevertheless, in order to avoid overexertion or re-injury, doctors are prescribing extended cage rest, with intermittent periods of physical therapy and exercise. A speedy recovery is anticipated, though it is not known how long it will be before Big Bear is able to return to his natural habitat at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.