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Black bear visits P.E.I.


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'Charlie' nibbled on a sugary treat Monday wondering what all the fuss was about.

With cameras flashing and rolling, the Atlantic Veterinary College introduced the media to a tiny 15-pound, three-month-old black bear, certainly not a common sight on P.E.I.

Officials at the vet college says they've worked with black bears before but this may be the first one actually admitted.

The Atlantic Wildlife Institute, located just outside Moncton, N.B., brought Charlie in about a month ago.

Dr. Trina Bailey, with the vet college, said the bear was born with an abnormal gait in his hind limbs, making him walk like movie legend Charlie Chaplin. That's where the bear got his nickname.

"When he was walking he was really high stepping and he really turned his knees out to the side. His handlers reported he was stiff after he rested and he seemed to have some difficulty getting up,'' Bailey said. "So, they brought him in for an orthopedic evaluation here at the vet college.''

Charlie didn't stick around after he was initially diagnosed. They brought him back over two weeks ago for surgery.

Bailey said the surgery went well.

"Hopefully the result will be that he will walk much more normally when he's all healed.''

Pam Novak, director of wildlife care at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, said Charlie is an orphan.

"It's possible that the mother was shot,'' Novak said.

Charlie, who returned to the wildlife institute late Monday, received lots of tender, loving care during his stay at the vet college. He had a teddy bear he was fond of cuddling and playing with.

His diet consisted of Cheerios and milk, apple sauce and puppy chow.

"We're just feeding him with the same diet his handlers brought with him,'' Bailey said.

Dr. Marion Desmarchelier of the vet college said Charlie will grow to 300 pounds within the next couple of years.

Charlie won't be returning to the wild right away. The wildlife institute serves as a rehabilitation centre and that's where the bear will remain until next summer.

"If all goes well,'' Desmarchelier said.

Bailey said the hospital also castrated the bear because the condition that caused his knees to grow abnormally is genetic.

"He's been a wonderful patient. Good to work with, good to handle. Everybody really enjoyed having him.''

It cost the veterinary college $2,500 to treat Charlie, money which comes from the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre, an initiative set up by the college's Dr. Alice Crook to help care for injured wildlife animals.

'Charlie' nibbled on a sugary treat Monday wondering what all the fuss was about.

With cameras flashing and rolling, the Atlantic Veterinary College introduced the media to a tiny 15-pound, three-month-old black bear, certainly not a common sight on P.E.I.

Officials at the vet college says they've worked with black bears before but this may be the first one actually admitted.

The Atlantic Wildlife Institute, located just outside Moncton, N.B., brought Charlie in about a month ago.

Dr. Trina Bailey, with the vet college, said the bear was born with an abnormal gait in his hind limbs, making him walk like movie legend Charlie Chaplin. That's where the bear got his nickname.

"When he was walking he was really high stepping and he really turned his knees out to the side. His handlers reported he was stiff after he rested and he seemed to have some difficulty getting up,'' Bailey said. "So, they brought him in for an orthopedic evaluation here at the vet college.''

Charlie didn't stick around after he was initially diagnosed. They brought him back over two weeks ago for surgery.

Bailey said the surgery went well.

"Hopefully the result will be that he will walk much more normally when he's all healed.''

Pam Novak, director of wildlife care at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, said Charlie is an orphan.

"It's possible that the mother was shot,'' Novak said.

Charlie, who returned to the wildlife institute late Monday, received lots of tender, loving care during his stay at the vet college. He had a teddy bear he was fond of cuddling and playing with.

His diet consisted of Cheerios and milk, apple sauce and puppy chow.

"We're just feeding him with the same diet his handlers brought with him,'' Bailey said.

Dr. Marion Desmarchelier of the vet college said Charlie will grow to 300 pounds within the next couple of years.

Charlie won't be returning to the wild right away. The wildlife institute serves as a rehabilitation centre and that's where the bear will remain until next summer.

"If all goes well,'' Desmarchelier said.

Bailey said the hospital also castrated the bear because the condition that caused his knees to grow abnormally is genetic.

"He's been a wonderful patient. Good to work with, good to handle. Everybody really enjoyed having him.''

It cost the veterinary college $2,500 to treat Charlie, money which comes from the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre, an initiative set up by the college's Dr. Alice Crook to help care for injured wildlife animals.

Dr. Marion Desmarchelier with the Atlantic Veterinary College introduces 'Charlie', a 15-pound black bear. Charlie is an orphan from the wild in New Brunswick who was born with a condition that made him walk like Charlie Chaplin.

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