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Vets At CSU Perform Surgery On Rescued Grizzly Bear

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A grizzly bear is recovering from surgery in Colorado after being rescued from a park in Georgia.

“Marley” had two fractures in one leg. The surgery was this week at Colorado State University.

CSU’s veterinarians see a lot of large animals. but not many grizzlies. Doctors at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital hope to give Marley a new chance at life.

PHOTO GALLERY: Surgery On Grizzly Bear At CSU

“It means freedom, choices; she can do whatever she wants and enjoy life,” Rebecca Miceli with the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg said.

The university shared video of Marley’s surgery captured Tuesday by Greg O’Malia as doctors worked to fix the 300-pound bear’s two broken elbows.

Miceli says she’s part brown bear, part grizzly, and suffered her injuries living in cramped conditions in Georgia.

“She was being kept in a facility with 17 other bears where they were being kept in essentially like cement pits where they were an attraction,” she said.

“This is my first grizzly bear,” said Dr. Jeremiah Easley, equine orthopedic surgeon.

Easley normally performs surgery on horses. In deciding how to treat Marley, he and other doctors asked themselves, “Is treating a bear more like treating a dog, or a horse?” They settled on both and went to work.

“It’s kind of a race against time of whether we can get the bone to heal in the amount of time that it takes for infection to set in,” Easley said.

With expertise, and extra care, doctors hope they can give Marley a second chance. The bear is back at the Wild Animal Sanctuary. That’s been her home since rescuers found her four weeks ago. Rescuers hope she’ll make a full recovery and be able to live another 20 years.

LINK: Wild Animal Sanctuary

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