Adorable Andean baby bear and her brush with near death

Several days after admission to the ABF, the baby bear now known as "Cosanga" took her first wobbly steps. c. 2013 ABF/Alandy TorresOne night early in November a rather dramatic, close-call rescue occurred on a highway on the Eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes.

Incredibly, a female Andean bear cub around seven weeks old was spotted on the yellow lines in the middle of the highway by a local policeman, who stopped traffic to save her from certain death.

Without a doubt, the actions of the kind policeman were totally justified in saving the poor cub as there was a line of heavy goods vehicles coming up right behind him that would have certainly crushed the tiny bear.

Also on Chinese government action will save endangered species

Luckily, the rescue took place five minutes away from the IFAW-supported Andean Bear Foundation's Iznachi Bear Sanctuary.

With no mother in sight the helpless cub was immediately taken to the sanctuary and put into capable hands for 24-hour care.

A thorough check up by Andean Bear Foundation (ABF) veterinarian revealed the cub – now named Cosanga after the area she was found in – was in good health.

Cosanga’s eyes had not been open for very long; Andean bear cubs open their eyes at around 40 days old. But Cosanga is strong, responsive and is suckling well on her milk substitute. Several days after admission, she took her first wobbly steps.

Historically, the ABF sanctuary took in only a couple of bears per year. But counting Cosanga, the sanctuary has received five bears in the past seven months, which is a testament to the escalating human/wildlife conflict situation in the area. ABF is doing their best to minimize conflict through education while attempting to bolster populations through rehabilitation and reintroduction.

The ultimate goal is to give Cosanga a second chance at freedom back to the wild once she has reached adulthood and has learned the necessary skills with which to survive in the wild. The Andean Bear Foundation will work alongside the Ministry of Environment to help that happen.


For more amazing stories, visit our animal rescue campaign page.

Post a comment


Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy