Ontario black bear undergoes MRI after being found paralyzed
Hope gets an MRI at the Mississauga Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital
Published Tuesday, February 3, 2015 5:36PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 4, 2015 9:13AM EST
A black bear that was found paralyzed and emaciated in a field in northwestern Ontario is receiving treatment by a team of veterinarians.
The bear, named Hope, was found in Fort Frances, west of Thunder Bay, Ont., last month. She weighed 90 lbs -- approximately half of what she is supposed to weigh -- and was suffering from a number of infections.
The sick animal was eventually brought the attention of Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us, who has helped rehabilitate more than 350 bears in the last 22 years.
McIntosh has gone to great lengths to help Hope.
He drove approximately 3,500 kilometres to transport Hope from Fort Frances to his bear sanctuary, located near Huntsville, Ont.
"Some people would say, 'Why would you bother, it's only a bear.' But I don't feel that way," McIntosh told CTV Toronto on Tuesday.
According to a recent Facebook post, when Hope was finally settled at Bear With Us, she was still very sick.
"She is paralyzed, has a touch of pneumonia and is extremely thin," McIntosh said. "While cleaning Hope, I noticed a badly infected wound on her right leg."
Concerned for the wellbeing of the bear, McIntosh brought Hope to the Mississauga Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital for a rarely performed magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI.
While veterinarians often perform such scans on cats and dogs, the team of experts who have been charged with helping Hope believe that prior to her, an MRI has only ever been performed once on a bear in Canada.
"It's a lot of effort, but this is an animal suffering, in distress," McIntosh said on Tuesday. "We need to help her one way or another."
According to the veterinarians, tests show that Hope did not sustain any structural damage to her spine. They have also collected her spinal fluid for analysis and are optimistic they will be able to help her.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Janice Golding