The Story of Usco, the Bear with Disabilities

The National Herald Archive

ATHENS - Usco was the first bear in the world that used, for over four years, a wheelchair because he had a broken spine and could not walk. Usco was found injured in a forest and was rescued by NGO Arcturos for the protection of wildlife. Usco died on November 25 suffering from kidney failure.

"The kidney failure had nothing to do with Usco's disability and despite his problem, Usco showed enormous will to live", Panos Stefanou, responsible for Public Relations in Arcturos, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

According to the organisation's announcement, "Usco was found injured in the woods next to his mother that was shot and killed."

The cub was sent to the veterinarian school of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki where the doctors found that it had a broken spine and would never be able to walk.

Even if the odds were against it, the vets saw in Usco an enormous will to live and decided to try to make a wheelchair specially made for Usco's needs in order to be able to move. Usco adapted to the new conditions and as he grew up, he changed three different wheelchairs.

Arcturos had also formed the place Usco lived in a way that would give him space to move freely. The organisation had also made a small pool and specially formed toys for Usco to play with.