Bear has new home at Alpine sanctuary: Rescued bear named 'Maddie' was once someone's pet

Bear came from farm in rural Ohio

ALPINE, Calif. - A 400-pound bear that was once someone's family pet has a new home in Alpine.

The bear, named "Maddie" lived the past eight or nine years in a 20-foot by 20-foot corn crib on a farm in rural Ohio.  

"There are hundreds of these animals that need help," said Bobbi Brink, who is with Lions, Tigers & Bears in Alpine, a sanctuary for exotic animals in the East County.

That Maddie had been kept as a pet was bad enough but Brink said she almost had a far different fate.  

"The girl who originally had her as a pet took Maddie from a friend who was ready to turn her over to a game ranch where they would shoot and kill her for a trophy," Brink said.

Brink responded to a cry for help in Ohio where she helped rescue nine bears. Five of the bears went to South Dakota, one to Texas, two to Colorado and Maddie came to Alpine.

The sanctuary is in the process of building a larger bear enclosure to house everyone at the facility, but it will be a few months before Maddie joins them.

"She'll have to stay in quarantine for a couple of months until we can get her medically back to where she needs to be," Brink said.

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