This bear had wandered into a village on the edge of the national park where she would have lived. She was obviously in a bad way. The bears are quite shy normally so it's a worrying sign when they stumble into human areas like this.
She was picked up by the authorities and brought to the rescue centre to be cared for. She had been in the care of the medical team for a month by the time I came to visit the centre. The veterinary team had examined her when she came in and were very concerned about the condition she was in. She was due another thorough check up and I was invited to be be involved which was a great honour for me.
I have been very fortunate to deal with many different species over the 20 years I have been a veterinary surgeon and it has been hammered into me, time and time again, just how important a physical exam is, during any investigation. Once asleep, I soon realised this bear was in serious trouble. She was skin and bone - this was so hard to get across purely visually. She had so little reserves left to keep her ailing body going. Her belly was fully of fluid which is a very bad sign indeed. I knew at this point that this bear was not long for this world. She was a very old bear (her worn down teeth were testimony to her age) whose body was finally succumbing to a hard life in the wild. Eyes, teeth, liver and other organs all were starting to fail. We we never told what happened to this bear (I was just a visitor after all), it's not nice to see but I'm afraid it is what will happen to all living creatures at some point if they are lucky enough to live a long life.
I am very touched by just how much concern people had for this poor creature who they only got a brief glimpse of. I can only assure you that she was getting excellent care from all that I could see.