Friday, September 17, 2010

Update on Bill the Black Bear

Bill has come a long way in the past three years. He is spending more time outdoors. He now enjoys cooling off in his pool, interacting with his neighbors (the grizzly bears) and we have even seen him lounging on one of his perches. The past few nights he has been sleeping outside on his perch instead of in his cave like he has in the past.

For those who don't know about Bill, before coming to IEAS, Bill had lived in a 9x4 foot cage tucked away in a barn on a remote property in Gonzales County. He had no view of the outdoors as he had the covering over the top and sides of his cage and had not even stepped foot on grass before. Authorities confiscated Bill as soon as they were tipped off to his deplorable condition, and he was sent to the North Texas Humane Society until a home could be found for him. Once IEAS heard that a home had not been found for Bill, we knew we needed to rescue this distraught bear and give him a chance at a better life. When Bill arrived at his new home, he was in complete shock. It was the first time in his life that his paws with cracked and dried pads touched the sand and grass. He had never in his life been outside! He never walked on grass, sat or splashed in a pool, climbed a tree or even seen the sky! He spent his first month sitting by his water trough in a corner with a blank stare on his face. It was obvious he was in shock and couldn't comprehend the variety of new stimuli that was before him. He wasn't used to having all this room and wasn't sure what to do. After a month, he made his first step; he climbed a tree. We were not expecting this. He stayed in the tree for a day and then decided to climb down. Once Bill got used to his surroundings, he spent most of his time in his cave. He would come out every now and then to eat and cool off in his pool, but he just felt more comfortable in the privacy of his own cave.

After a rough beginning Bill has made great progress, not just physically but emotionally. He now enjoys visits from a few visitors and will allow them to watch him enjoy his pool. He is now comfortable with his surroundings and the staff who work so hard to give him the best quality of life possible. You can ask anyone who works here and they will just tell you how much they love and enjoy Bill. He isn't the youngest bear, but he has stolen the hearts of many in just the thee years he has been here.

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