On March 25, a female Black Bear yearling was admitted to the Wildlife Center from Augusta County. The bear had been seen in a tree for multiple days; she was very thin and weak, and did not appear to be leaving the area. A biologist from the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries responded to the scene and was able to catch and transport the bear.
Dr. Ernesto, the Center's Hospital Director, examined the bear upon admission. The bear was severely dehydrated, and had an estimated body condition score of a 1/5. The bear was anesthetized for a full examination; no fractures were found, but Dr. Ernesto did note an abnormally slow heartbeat. He administered a dose of atropine. Blood work confirmed mild anemia. The bear weighed 10.3 kg.
The bear received fluids and was set up in the Center's Bear Pen. The staff will offer a supportive critical care diet; if the bear eats that well, the food will be gradually changed to a soft, regular bear meal.