Exertional myopathy in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) captured by leghold snare

J Wildl Dis. 2008 Oct;44(4):973-8. doi: 10.7589/0090-3558-44.4.973.


We diagnosed exertional myopathy (EM) in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) that died approximately 10 days after capture by leghold snare in west-central Alberta, Canada, in June 2003. The diagnosis was based on history, post-capture movement data, gross necropsy, histopathology, and serum enzyme levels. We were unable to determine whether EM was the primary cause of death because autolysis precluded accurate evaluation of all tissues. Nevertheless, comparison of serum aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase concentrations and survival between the affected bear and other grizzly bears captured by leghold snare in the same research project suggests EM also occurred in other bears, but that it is not generally a cause of mortality. We propose, however, occurrence of nonfatal EM in grizzly bears after capture by leghold snare has potential implications for use of this capture method, including negative effects on wildlife welfare and research data.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / metabolism
  • Cause of Death
  • Creatine Kinase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / enzymology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Muscular Diseases / complications
  • Muscular Diseases / mortality
  • Muscular Diseases / pathology
  • Muscular Diseases / veterinary*
  • Restraint, Physical / adverse effects
  • Restraint, Physical / veterinary*
  • Ursidae / physiology*


  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Creatine Kinase