When Eve was first found, she looked like something out of a horror movie. Not quite dog, not quite bear, but hairless and a light pink with crusty scabs all over — kind of like a giant aardvark.
The poor cub was rescued from Placer County in California by the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife on Christmas Eve in 2017. Because of the date, she was soon dubbed “Eve.”
Staff at The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center prepared a place for the young California black bear, who was riddled with mange and whose growth was stunted from a lack of food. She got baths and medication to kill off the mites and hopefully help restore a beautiful bear coat.
Despite the name “Eve,” she also received the nickname “bare bear,” for obvious reasons. Her caretakers slowly added new items to her enclosure as time went by, and made sure to keep her busy with toys and food games.
By April, progress was still slow. Her coat wasn’t recovering the way they’d hoped.
“We did see fur regrowth on sections of her body during her last exam, but it is very sparse, overall,” the center wrote on Facebook. “She does still have some crustiness on her cervical and upper thoracic spine area and oddly, that is where a lot of her fur growth is as well.”
“She has taken to her pools and is frequently leaving the water when her caretakers approach; she leaves the surrounding area very wet from her splashing and playing!”
By July, there was no sign of mange, but she was still fighting skin infections and had to be put back on medication. As the months passed, the likelihood that Eve would be able to return to the wild became slimmer and slimmer.
“There is no doubt, we all want her to be healthy and have the opportunity for a good quality of life,” they wrote in an update. “Only time will tell us what tomorrow brings, but for now it is still our fervent wish that she is able to return to the wild one day.”
In November, the Wildlife Center made the call, and decided (along with advice from specialists and veterinarians) that it would be best to keep Eve in captivity.
“With her lack of fur for protection from the elements and sadly, with the ongoing wildfires, we do know that releasing her is not a viable option right now and she will definitely be with us through winter,” they wrote.
“We have always been committed to Eve’s care and have always put her best interest foremost — just as we do now. We will continue our commitment and are in the initial stages of preparing Eve for a Forever Home at our sister animal sanctuary, Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas.”
“Eve will remain here in our care, while we work together to raise funds for a state of the art, large habitat that Eve can forever call home. We know it won’t be easy or inexpensive — it already costs us close to $500 every week just to care for her here — bears aren’t cheap house-guests; they’ll literally eat you out of house and home! :-)”
Thankfully Eve has wonderful, caring people around her who will make sure she’s healthy and happy even if she can’t roam through the wilderness like they’d hoped.
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