San Andreas, Calif. (September 8, 2016) – The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), which operates three California sanctuaries for rescued or retired wild and exotic animals, has a new resident: a three-legged yearling American black bear named Mack. The orphaned bear is missing part of his right hind leg, which was most likely traumatically amputated in a trapper’s snare.
“Mack is a playful young bear and he is settling well into his new home at PAWS’ Galt sanctuary,” said PAWS President Ed Stewart. “We would have preferred that Mack live out his life as a wild bear, but at PAWS he has a lifelong home where our aim is to give him the best life possible in captivity.”
Mack’s comfortable new habitat, designed by PAWS to accommodate his special needs, features grass, soft soil, a large swimming pool and a cozy den, allowing the young bear to engage in a range of natural behaviors, including digging, climbing, foraging, and taking a dip in the pool.
Mack was first spotted in the hills above Claremont, Calif., soliciting food from people. Only a few months old at the time, the orphaned bear cub was already missing part of his right hind leg. He was later captured by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife after he climbed a schoolyard fence seeking human attention. Because of Mack’s injury, and the fact that he was very friendly with people, Fish and Wildlife officials decided he should not be released back into the wild. Mack spent the last year under the expert care of The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, California, before his transfer to PAWS.
With the addition of Mack, PAWS now cares for nine bears, as well as elephants, big cats, and other rescued or retired exotic and wild animals at its three California sanctuaries.
Founded in 1984, the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) operates three sanctuaries in Northern California, including the 2,300-acre ARK 2000 natural habitat refuge, that are home to a large variety of species including Asian and African elephants, big cats, bears and other exotic animals rescued or retired from circuses, zoos and the exotic pet trade. PAWS established the first U.S. elephant sanctuary and is the only one to care for bull elephants.
PAWS is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, and is rated a four-star charity by Charity Navigator and received an “A” rating from CharityWatch.