On the night of Sunday, July 3, a sow was hit and killed by a vehicle as she was crossing a road in Highland County with her four cubs. One of the cubs, a female, was also struck by the vehicle and killed. The remaining three cubs were uninjured and sought safety in nearby trees.
The following day, a biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was able to successfully dart the three male cubs and loaded them into a bear transport container. The cubs were admitted to the Wildlife Center on the morning of July 5. Drs. Dave and Ernesto loaded the bears into two sturdy zinger crates.
Dr. Ernesto, one of the Center's veterinary interns, examined the three bear cubs; each received a colored identification ear tag. Cub #16-1441 became "Red Tag" and weighed in at 7.7 kg; #16-1442 became "Green Tag" and weighed 7.1 kg; and #16-1443 became "Orange Tag" and weighed 4.1 kg. Since there is already a "Red Tag" cub in this 2016 cohort, it's likely one of the Red Tags will receive an additional colored ear tag. All cubs were healthy, with only a few minor lacerations.
The cubs were placed on one side of the Center's Large Mammal Isolation enclosure. The four other cubs that have been in the Wildlife Center's care this year are in the other side of the enclosure. The cubs will be able to see, smell, and interact with each other through the bars of the connecting chute; they will be introduced sometime within the next week.