Bear joined the Big Pack in the Sky on June 28th, 2022.
He passed at the age of 9 years old due to a severe injury/blood loss.
Bear was born in June of 2013, and came to Wild Spirit in April 2018. His story is a very controversial one with many different versions, depending on who is telling the story. The one thing we know for certain is that Bear was bred in captivity to make money for his owner. He was born at a working animal fur farm/petting zoo, where the owner charged visitors different fees to interact with a large variety of wild animals. A DNA test revealed that her wolves were high-content wolfdogs, which means they were 85-95% wolf. Some of the people who visited the farm gave it good reviews citing kind staff and well-cared for animals, while others gave it completely opposite reviews, citing small cages and horrible conditions. The owner faced controversy and court battles for many years. She was shut down at one time but re-opened in 2016.
The owner made no secret about breeding and selling wolfdogs for profit and also selling wolf pelts. Publicly, her story was that she only sold pelts that she made after a wolfdog on her farm died of natural causes. Several articles about her farm quote her saying the opposite in her deposition for her court case. In the quotes, she admitted that she waited until winter when the wolfdog coats are at their most beautiful and slaughtered as many as the fur market dictated. Answering the question of how many wolfdogs she would slaughter, she admitted she had already slaughtered two and was going to slaughter a total twenty-seven more over three weeks.
In 2018, the farm was again facing time in court with more nuisance complaints, and rezoning issues. We received reports about the highly-contested court battle and the possibility of all her animals needing places to go. We made contact with the owner to get more information, try to clear up some of the controversies and finalize plans to rescue some of her wolfdogs if she had to close. Ultimately, she lost her case and we were able to offer permanent homes for four of her male wolfdogs: Walking Bear, Sioux, Crow, and Chiracowa. We also offered to rescue four Arctic foxes, but we did not have the proper license. We were grateful to offer a permanent home.
Fortunately for all involved, the four boys were extremely social and comfortable around people. Loading them into our rescue van was much easier than usual. The boys had never left their enclosures or been on a leash, so they were simply picked up and tossed over their caretaker’s shoulders! The owner was very cooperative, although seemed truly devastated by the loss of her animals.
Bear was very sweet and very loving. He trusted people after they proved themselves to be patient and respectful. He had a tendency to introduce himself with his tail tucked, even to greet people he felt comfortable with.
Bear lived with Westeros Pack rescue, Nymeria. Despite Nymeria’s over-zealous first introduction, the two spent several, happy months together. We helped Nymeria join the Big Pack in the Sky on March 17, 2019, due to cancer in her sinus cavity. Bear then lived with another Westeros Pack rescue, Brienne.
Likes & Dislikes
Bear loved giving “hugs” to his caretakers. At first we thought it might be for security, but it was soon clear that it was out of affection. He loved enrichment walks, and fully exploring and appreciating new things along the way.
Bear disliked when men he didn’t know walked by his habitat.