Zimmerman woman rescues abandoned bear

10:17 AM, Sep 30, 2013   |    comments
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ZIMMERMAN, Minn. - Linda Woodruff walks her dogs on the same trail nearly every day, but Saturday was different.

"The dog started pulling me in that direction, and that's where it was," said Linda. "I thought it was a dog or cat."

Instead, she came upon a weak and abandoned bear cub.

"I've lived here 17 years and never seen a bear," she said. "But I knew I needed to somehow help it."

That's when she did what most experts would not advise. With help from neighbors, she put the cub in a kennel and placed it in her van. She took the bear to the Wild and Free Center at the Garrison Animal Hospital.

"The doctor said she was 25 pounds, but should've been 60 pounds," says Linda. "They had to hold its head up just to eat."

The Wild and Free Center cares for hundreds of injured and abandoned animals each year, but bears are rare, especially ones brought to them by average citizens.

"I would do this for any kind of animal," said Woodruff.

Doctors say the bear was likely hit by a car and left abandoned. The next few days will be critical. DNR officials typically advise the public to let Mother Nature take its course and leave wild animals alone.

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