CHARLESTON, S.C.(WCIV) -- Memphis the bear lived most of his life confined in a tiny cage but now, the large black bear has room to roam.
According to Animal Rescue & Relief, Memphis, a 450 pound black bear, was living in the backyard of a home in a chain linked cage and before that he had spent most of his life chained to a tree. After a year and a half of trying to rescue the bear, AAR says they finally found a 'forever home' at Charles Towne Landing.
"They (Charles Towne Landing) are able to provide Memphis with a fantastic natural habitat, care by wildlife biologists, and everything else that Memphis needs to be happy and healthy for the rest of his years," says Michelle Reid in a press release.
Now, Memphis has new found freedom in a habitat that more closely resembles what he would find in the wild. And his two-acre enclosure in the Animal Forest gives Lowcountry visitors a chance to see him enjoy it.
"It's a nice feeling for people to be able to see an animal that large and that wild up close," said Park Manager Rob Powell. "A lot of people are amazed at how big the bear is. He weighs over 400 pounds and if he stands on his hind legs he's about seven feet tall or more."
According to AAR, the total, exact number of black bears in the state is unknown, according to South Carolina DNR there were only 333 black bear sightings across South Carolina last year. Black bears are the largest land mammals in South Carolina and the only species of bear found in the eastern United States.