On April 17, a private citizen turned a small bear cub in to the Craig County Sheriff’s office. The citizen reportedly found the cub in a ditch by the side of the road. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was notified, and the cub was taken to the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center for the night. VDGIF Black Bear Project Leader Jaime Sajecki transported the cub to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on April 18.
Drs. Helen and Dana examined the female cub when she arrived. The cub was bright, alert, and in good body condition. No abnormalities were found on physical exam; since the cub had been bottle-fed recently, radiographs will be scheduled for Tuesday morning.
On Friday, April 22, Jaime will take the bear cub to Virginia Tech so that she can be fostered onto a wild Black Bear sow. The Virginia Tech Black Bear Research Center has offered this opportunity for a number of years; the research center works in conjunction with VDGIF and keeps several adult bears during the winter and releases them in the spring. When pregnant sows are trapped for the program, and the bears give birth during the winter, VDGIF is able to foster orphaned cubs onto a new bear mom. Jaime reports that this year, one of the female bears has a cub just about the same size as cub #16-0305. The new family will be released sometime in May.