A brave attempt to save a baby bear...Story by Tim Gaffney.
TORRINGTON: “I have to go clean the blood out of your car.”
Okay, so that’s not something I’m used to me wife Deb telling me on the cell as I arrive home one day last week.
Did you remember the milk or can you stop and pick up dinner, these are the normal things one might hear at the end of one’s day coming home.
But no, it was about the blood and the bear.
Seems my wife, one of the greatest advocates of any animal I have ever met, came across something you don’t often see during the course of a day.
While traveling from job to job on Route 45 near West Cornwall, Deb came upon a woman who had stopped her car at what appeared to be some kind of animal strike.
Perhaps a dog, a dear or a cat maybe?
No, it was a female baby bear.
Someone had hit it and drove off (not a good thing) leaving the 50-pound bear stunned and badly hurt.
Without hesitation, Deb stopped, popped on her flashers and went to see how she could help.
The woman on scene first (great job in stopping) was keeping an eye on the wounded bear along with a sibling who was screaming up in a nearby tree.
No sign of momma bear though, always a good thing. The two bears were on their own and based on a bee attached to the injured bear, may have stumbled into a bee-hive, Winnie the Pooh style and ran out into the road.
At one point, the little gal got up and tried to make her way to the side of the road but fell on her side.
More folks started to stop and help, including a gentleman who had a blanket and knew where the local vet was.
Deb and her helpers put the blanket beside the bear and gentle rolled it over onto it.
At first look, the bear did not appear to be bleeding anywhere but her legs and side were crushed.
She was suffering from internal injuries and needed help.
Although there were trucks with beds in the back, Deb never hesitated and put the bear in the backseat of our maroon Ford Taurus. Remember that color.
With a lead car taking them towards the vet, Deb and bear (I asked about seatbelts but let it go) made their way in an effort to save the wild animal who was more than likely born this spring.
Now, the inside of a Taurus is not exactly a place you can run laps in. A mid-size but not a lot of room from front to back.
There was a 50-pound baby bear within a foot of the driver’s seat.
Cross that one off the bucket list, if it ever made it in the first place!
Deb described a tough coat with very thick ears on this fighter of a bear.
Once at the doctor’s, it was clear the little gal was in trouble.
Deb said her breathing became more difficult and that she was starting to suffer.
The vet, hobbled because of recent knee surgery herself, brought a stretcher out and started to work on her unique visitor.
Before you can put a bear down in the State of Connecticut, one needs to get permission from the DEP and when it became clear the bear would not make it, the decision was made to put it down.
One of my wife’s longtime goals was to see an animal sanctuary in the area. A place were animals like this bear, if she had lived, could go to be taken care of.
There are some out West but nothing in this part of the country to our knowledge.
After leaving the vet, Deb went back to see if she could find the other cub (I’m guessing to bring home and have me feed it while I work from home) but it was nowhere in sight.
When I called on my way home and asked how her day went, she said not so good and started to explain, including the classic line of, ”I have to go clean the blood out of your car.”
I now am envisioning Freddy Kruger type splattering all over my car. The interior matches the exterior kind of thing.
Good luck with the Car Fax explaining that upon trade-in.
As it turns out, it was just a small amount (maybe two inches) on the backseat where the bear bled from her mouth during the ride.
I sat in the front seat and listened in amazement to the story as our dog almost broke her nose sniffing something I can hopefully say she will never sniff again. Don’t take solid bets on that though, you may lose.
Just another day in the life of the woman I love who will do just about anything to save an animal in need.
Great try honey.