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Black bear undergoes facial surgery

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Wild__Wacky/Black_bear_undergoes_facial_surgery/articleshow/2710484.cms 

18 Jan 2008, 1258 hrs IST,AP
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GARDEN CITY: A 3-year-old male black bear has undergone facial reconstruction surgery to close a gunshot wound, and could be released back into the wild later this year.

Jeff D. Brourman, a small-animal surgeon, on Wednesday performed a two-hour skin-flap procedure that closed a 2-inch (5-centimeter) hole that exposed the 150-pound (68-kilo) bear's sinus cavity.

"With that open hole, we were afraid an infection might go into his brain,'' John Beecham, a volunteer with Idaho Black Bear Rehab, told the Idaho Statesman.

The facility in Garden City in southwest Idaho is caring for the bear, one of 53 the group took in during 2007.

The surgery required about 40 stitches and left a curving 8-inch (20-centimeter) scar on the bear's shaved face.

The bear was near a central Idaho campground near Stanley last summer when it was trapped by a U.S. Fish & Wildlife worker.

The worker noticed the bear's injury and contacted the bear rehab center. At that time, around late August, a veterinarian removed shrapnel and cleaned the wound.

Brourman said the surgery was planned for this winter so that the bear, in its natural hibernation period, might be less likely to pull out the stitches, which will be removed in two weeks.  


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