Bear Release 2012

On Friday, July 27, the Wildlife Center of Virginia and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries released six Black Bears in the western part of the state. DGIF was able to locate a release site with the appropriate amount of resources and habitat for the two yearlings and four cubs. The area is far from human development and in a remote area inaccessible to the public by motorized vehicles. The released bears include:

  • Black Bear #12-0189. This female yearling was admitted to the Center on March 21, 2012, from Charlottesville, Virginia. The bear had an old left femoral fracture. After weeks of healing, the bear was nearly released in May, but was held back to act as a surrogate to Black Bear cub #12-0634. Incoming weight:  15.3 lbs. Release weight:  95 lbs.
  • Black Bear #12-0634. This young cub was admitted to the Wildlife Center on May 3 after it was found wandering in Bedford County without its mother. The male cub was introduced to Black Bear #12-0189 in mid-May. Within a few days, the two bears were spotted together via Critter Cam. Incoming weight: 6.3 lbs. Release weight: 45 lbs.
  • Black Bear #12-0990. Admitted to the Center on May 25, this male yearling was in poor body condition. The bear was introduced to the female yearling and cub in early June. Incoming weight: 19.9 lbs. Release weight: 90 lbs.
  • Black Bears #12-1663 & #12-1664. These two cubs were rescued from a highway in Chesapeake, Virginia on July 10. They were admitted to the Wildlife Center the following day and were introduced to the other bears in the Center’s bear pen several days later. Incoming weights: ~7 lbs. Release weights: ~20 lbs.
  • Black Bear #12-1665. This cub was hit by a car in Roanoke in early July and was admitted to the Wildlife Center on July 11. The male cub suffered from head trauma. After two weeks of supportive care, the bear had greatly improved. The bear was introduced to the other bears on July 23. On July 27, the Center vets and VDGIF biologists examined the cub and concluded that he was healthy enough to be released with the other bears. Incoming weight: 22 lbs. Release weight: 33 lbs.

Dr. Dave reports that the bear release went very well. The male yearling [#12-0990] was the first out — he turned around, and ran off behind the small group of Wildlife Center staff and DGIF officials. Then the female yearling and four cubs emerged — and went off in a different direction. There was a small amount of separation at first as two cubs climbed a tree, while the female yearling and Bedford County cub [#12-0634] disappeared around a bend. One of the Chesapeake cubs lost sight of the others and started calling — the other cubs in the tree quickly answered, and the Chesapeake cub joined them. In the end, the female yearling and three of the four cubs ducked over a hill — while one cub remained in a tree, within earshot. The humans quickly removed themselves from the scene to allow the bears to re-group and become more familiar with their new home! Check back later for photos and video of the release!

Photos from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Black Bear Release July 2012

Bear Release Video

Video property and courtesy of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Bear Release In the News