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Saturday, June 23, 2012


Written by Loren Spiotta-DiMare
Illustrated by Key Wilde
Published by Woodlands Wildlife Refuge

BROKE LEG BEAR is the true story of a young black bear cub who was injured while crossing in front of a car in New Jersey.  Taken to the Woodlands Wildlife Refuge in Alexandria, New Jersey, the cub was treated for the injury to her leg and nicknamed Broke Leg Bear by the staff.  

Tracey Leaver, founder and executive director of Woodlands, developed the black bear rehabilitation program in 1995.  The book details the Refuge's work in caring for wild animals until they are able to return to the wild.  During Broke Leg's stay at the refuge, nine more bear cubs arrived, most because their mothers were destroyed after becoming nuisance bears, frightening people in their yards or breaking into homes while searching for food.  The animals are cared for until they are old enough or, in the case of injury, strong enough to be released back into their natural habitat.

Woodlands is the only facility licensed in New Jersey to care for bears and has been able to successfully release more than sixty.  It is a non-profit organization and receives no state or federal funding, relying solely on donations. Life-long animal lover Spiotta-DiMare's tale of BROKE LEG BEAR, beautifully illustrated by Wilde, was released for the 25th anniversary of Woodlands Wildlife Refuge and all proceeds benefit the Refuge.  They continue their fine work in New Jersey, caring for more than 800 wild animals each year, including raccoons, foxes, woodchucks, otters, beavers and rabbits.

Lynn's footnote:  We had a black bear in our yard last year as noted in a previous blog entry, and a large one passed just under the window of my home office about two weeks ago.  A gentleman who works with my husband and lives in Randolph came home to find a bear in his house last year.  He and his family were advised by the police to just stay in their car and wait until the bear left.  Widespread development has disturbed so many of the places bears originally called home, making it more common to see black bears in populated areas of New Jersey.  It's estimated that there are 3,400 black bears in northwest NJ, and approximately 464 bears were killed during the annual state bear hunt in 2011.   

ISBN 978-0-615-51973-9
Pub. Date:  2011
Hardcover available from Woodlands Wildlife Refuge

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