The owner of the Wild Ireland animal retreat in Co Donegal gave one of his beloved brown bears chest compressions in a bid to save it from dying at the weekend.
Brave Killian Mac Lochlainn did all he could to save the life of Aurnia after she suffered complications while having two teeth removed.
Killian captured the hearts of the nation when his plan to bring back some of Ireland’s most fearsome creatures back to his sanctuary in Burnfoot on the Inishowen Peninsula.
His animal sanctuary, which opened last October, even had its own television show on RTE recently which was a huge hit with viewers.
Last night Killian fought back tears as he told how himself and a team of vets simply couldn’t do enough to save Aurnia.
He revealed “Our beautiful brown bear Aurnia, our golden lady, had two broken canine teeth and they had started to give her a lot of pain and a lot of trouble.
“We brought in a team of specialist vets which had the skills and the tools required to do dentistry work on a bear. If you can imagine their canine teeth are very large and you need specialist equipment in order to work with those teeth.
“Basically she had broken two of her canine teeth and they were causing her pain. Any anesthetic is risky but it’s even more risky if you are working with a large wild animal like a bear.
“Sadly during the procedure, Aurnia stopped breathing and I tried to do chest compressions and the team tried and the team were trying to do chest compression with her for forty five minutes but unfortunately we couldn’t get her to start breathing again and we lost her.
Aurnia had a pretty miserable start to life and she was kept in a small cage behind bars in Lithuania.
However, she was rescued and brought to Ireland a year ago where she was one of the star attractions at the Wild Ireland sanctuary.
Killian said he is just so glad that Aurnia had a happy last year of her life roaming around Wild Ireland with plenty of space, good care and lots of food.
“She was here just over a year and she had a pretty good life here and that’s the only thing that is consoling us all here.
“We all loved her dearly. The only thing that is consoling us is that she had one good year here, probably the best year of her life here at Wild Ireland.
“I’d like to remember her like that,” said a heartbroken Killian.
Killian, who is also a qualified solicitor, has spent the past six years planning and building Wild Ireland and turning what was a rugged field into a huge local attraction.
An animal lover all his life, Killian’s centre has been a huge success in just its first year open.
As well as the brown bears, there are wolves, a golden eagle, a lynx and snowy owls at the centre.
Killian also gives talks during the daytime to visitors educating them on the animals at the sanctuary.
Clearly devastated by the loss of Aurnia, Killian even posted a heartbreaking video of the bear at play at Wild Ireland.Tags: