Bear rescued by Donegal sanctuary sadly passes away following surgery 11 months ago

Bear rescued by Donegal sanctuary sadly passes away following surgery

Sad news.

Wild Ireland sanctuary in Donegal has announced that one of its brown bears has passed away following complications during surgery.


Aurnia, a brown bear rescued from Lithuania, was undergoing surgery by a team of specialised vets to remove two infected canine teeth when she passed away.

In a video posted on social media on Sunday, Killian Mac Lochlainn, who set up Wild Ireland in Burnfoot, said that anaesthesia was particularly risky for large wild animals but was necessary to try and solve the issue with her teeth.

However, Aurnia suffered complications and ceased breathing. She sadly passed away despite the best efforts of the team to resuscitate her.

“She was here just over a year and she had a pretty good life here, that’s the only thing that is consoling us all here," Mac Lochlainn said.

She had been brought to Donegal after being rescued from Lithuania where she had been kept in a concrete cage.

Wild Ireland looked after her along with other bears and rescued wild animals.


The sanctuary came to public attention earlier this year when RTÉ aired a documentary about Mac Lochlainn's efforts to bring back some of Ireland's most ferocious creatures to the Inishowen Peninsula.

Mac Lochlainn explained in the documentary that most of the animals he rescues had once been native to the country but had become extinct here over time.

Main image: Stock image via iStock