KEENESBURG, Colo. — An overweight Asiatic Black Bear with a troubled past is getting the help and care he needs on Colorado’s eastern Plains.
The bear, whose name is Dillan, was living inside a small enclosure at the Union County Sportsmen’s Club in Pennsylvania.
“He’s been there for possibly decades,” said Kent Drotar with the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg.
Dillan was subjected to the continuous sound of gunfire - his cage was situated about 200 feet away from a shooting range, according to officials.
His enclosure also had inadequate water and only featured concrete. Dillan was also declawed and has significant health problems, including bad teeth, infected gums and a weight problem.
“He’s incredibly large. We estimate he’s hundreds of pounds overweight. Just obese,” Drotar told KDVR.
After receiving pressure from several organizations and tens of thousands of people from across the nation (including actor Alec Baldwin), the sportsmen’s club decided to release Dillan on Monday.
"People Magazine picked up [a] story with Alec Baldwin who wrote the governor of Pennsylvania,” Drotar said. “That was just enough pressure to put it over the edge where the club felt it had to do the right thing with Dillan".
On Tuesday, Dillan was transferred to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, where he’s currently receiving medical help from the sanctuary’s clinic.
“We’re going to take care of that [medical issues] and he’ll soon be out in a large-acreage habitat,” Drotar said.
The sanctuary is hoping to send Dillan to its refuge in southern Colorado this spring, where he’ll get to spend the rest of his life in a 30-40 acre area with another rescued Asiatic Black Bear.