On April 30, a female Black Bear cub was admitted to the Center after she was found in Greene County, Virginia. A citizen found the cub in his pasture, and at first thought the small bear as a cat; when he realized it was a cub, he placed her in a cat carrier and called the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The DGIF officer who picked up the cub believes the bear was likely displaced by the nearby Rocky Mount fire in Shenandoah National Park.
Upon admission, Dr. Dana examined the cub and found her to be very thin, dehydrated, and infested with fleas and ticks. Blood work revealed mild anemia, but no significant injuries were found. Dr. Dana gave the bear fluids, an anti-parasitic medication, and treated the bear with a topical anti-parasitic as well. The cub weighed 1.73 kg.
Dr. Dana discussed the cub’s condition with VDGIF Black Bear Project Leader Jaime Sajecki. Because the cub was admitted in very thin body condition and needs extra care, and because Jaime doesn’t have an appropriate surrogate bear at Virginia Tech with which to match the cub, the bear cub will remain at the Wildlife Center for the year. Dr. Dana placed a white identification tag in the bear’s ear.
The rehabilitation staff have been bottle-feeding the bear three times a day. Bottle-feeding has been challenging, since the bear is shy and appropriately afraid of humans at this point, though the cub is willing to eat out of a mush bowl during most feedings.