Black Bear #17-1298

Admission Date: 
June 5, 2017
Location of Rescue: 
Shenandoah County, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On June 5, the Wildlife Center admitted an adult Black Bear from Shenandoah County, after the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was able to successfully trap the bear. The bear had symptoms of mange -- significant hair loss and thickened skin all over her body.

The female bear was quiet and alert on arrival; Dr. Ernesto was able to dart and anesthetize the bear for a physical exam. The bear was severely dehydrated and thin; skin scrapes confirmed mange mites. Blood was drawn for analysis, which indicated that the bear was anemic. She weighed in at 31.7 kg. 


The bear was treated with an anti-parasitic and was set up in one of the Center's Bear Pens. The staff will closely monitor the bear's attitude and appetite in the coming weeks. Center veterinarians are working on a pilot research protocol on mange treatment; the team hopes that with this new medication, bears can be effectively treated for mange with fewer doses of medication.

Your special donation will help the Center to provide veterinary medical care to this bear … and all of the patients admitted in 2016. Please help!


July 13, 2017

On July 12, Drs. Ernesto and Peach darted and sedated Black Bear #17-1298 for an exam and follow-up skin scrapings. The bear has been evaluated weekly since admission, though it’s been difficult for the vets to fully evaluate how much of the bear’s hair is growing back, since she tends to avoid people and retreat to her den area during evaluations. On physical exam, the veterinarians were pleasantly surprised to find that the bear’s fur and skin have improved significantly; at this point, there is only about 20% hair loss. Skin scrapings were negative for mange mites. The bear weighed in at 43.90 kg.

The bear was returned to her bear pen enclosure; the team will likely move the bear to the Center’s large Bear Complex once the complex has been cleaned and some repairs have been made.