Then, two days later, he walked past with the stick gone but an obvious open wound.
At first, my footage of him showed no limp and plenty of energy. However, by 3 weeks later, he looked terrible. He'd clearly licked the area extensively and the fur there was very thin. He had a painstaking limp, and he was not marking trees that he'd normally mark dramatically.
I was worried. My guess was that he had an infection. I wished that I could somehow give him an antibiotic. I laughed at myself for even thinking such a thing.
Then, he disappeared for a full 8 days. That is extremely rare during mating season. I worried even more.
Then, to my utter delight, I found footage of him on a couple of cams. I could still see some evidence of thin fur on his hind end but it was already much better. It's molting season too which probably helped that to improve quickly. Plus, he was walking nearly normally, and he was marking trees again!
I made a video of the various stages of his saga. At the end, he was walking "normally". By that, I mean that he was walking like a bear near marking trees in mating season. He was using a gait sometimes called a "cowboy walk". It's a way of grinding his paws deep into the dirt to leave maximum scent from his paw pads.
Near the marking trees, there are bear tracks which are impressions of exactly where every mature bear who passes that spot places his/her paws. It's extremely hard to see or photograph but it's easy to feel. For a bear as big as Tiny, he has to shorten his stride to hit the right spots. Plus, he swings his hind legs out to the sides as he walks when he's in these tracks - the "cowboy walk".
After all that technical stuff, the main thing is how relieved I am that Tiny is okay. We have two main male bears in our neck of the woods, and they've ruled for about a decade, as far as I can tell. I'm glad that this spring was not the time that we lost one of them.
Here's the video.
I'm a very happy bear observer today!
oh poor Tiny... I had the same idea while reading... and I pondered how to maybe feed him with something with anit-pee-otics inside ... I'm glad too that Tiny is ok...ReplyDelete
We are so glad you can observe his progress to recovering.ReplyDelete
It would be so heartbreaking to lose Tiny.
I am so glad he is ok and he looks like he lost a little weight while healing. I'm a very happy bear observer today!ReplyDelete
I agree about the weight, Sandra. It made me wonder for a little while if it was indeed Tiny. However, some of the footage shows the areas of very thin fur on his hind leg so I think (hope) it is Tiny.Delete
I'm so glad he survived-poor guy! He looks great at the end! 💕ReplyDelete
Hooray for Tiny!ReplyDelete
So happy his wound is healing. Great video of the big babyReplyDelete
Lily & Edward
Amazing that it healed itself. so glad to see that!ReplyDelete
Whew, so glad he is healing from that injury! Love the video!ReplyDelete
Murphy & Stanley
Thank goodness that Tiny is going to be okay!ReplyDelete
So glad that Tiny is Ok!ReplyDelete
Hazel & Mabel
Upsetting to see an old friend in pain and not be able to do anything. Glad he knew what to do and is back on form!ReplyDelete
So glad to hear this update. Perhaps that mud pool is quite healing?ReplyDelete
We're so glad he's OK! That's awesome!ReplyDelete
Poor Tiny - that must have been very painful for him. He must be pretty healthy to have fought off that infection. We are happy he is OK too.ReplyDelete
It is hard to see wild animals injured and not be able to help. I hope Tiny's trouble is over and he'll soon be bulking up and regrowing his fur and loping along (when he feels like it) as good as new.ReplyDelete
OUCH! We sure are glad the big Tiny guy is okay.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you put the "Good Ending" part on the facebook pate. I could not have watched this if I had thought he was not getting better. the adventures of Tiny have been a favorite for me.ReplyDelete
I so admire how you love and care for these bears. You are a Mama Bear. I am glad he is doing betterReplyDelete
Poor bear! I'm sure that was totally painful and he probably got it out in a painful way too. So happy to hear he is doing so much better.ReplyDelete
So glad he's better and enjoying his baths and marking trees again!ReplyDelete
I am glad he is OK now. Is there any type of wildlife place you could have called that would have attempted to help?ReplyDelete
I'm curious as to how you can tell the difference in the bears. I mean, with this one and the stick, I get that, but before the stick...ReplyDelete
I spend a lot of time going through videos frame-by-frame and staring at photos. I know that usually, we have two really big males here. One has a chest blaze and another does not. That info helped me in this case because I knew that the one with the chest blaze (white spot) was okay and marking trees elsewhere in the forest. So, I knew that this one was Tiny, in all likelihood. Of course, if a brand new huge male showed up, my method might fall apart. Also, I have a much harder time ID'ing subadults and females because they seem to move around a bit more and don't always mark the trees (so I can't see their chests).Delete
Basically, I am always using info from all my cams about who is where to help me narrow down which bear is which. There is room for error - no doubt about it!
Must be Tiny was in the hospital while he was gone....LOL. So glad he's OK!ReplyDelete
Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets
It's always such a worry when we see injured or sick animals. Our minds know that nature takes its course, but our hearts want all of them to survive and thrive. So glad this one healed up.ReplyDelete