Black Bear #16-2409

November 9, 2016
April 20, 2017
Rescue Location
Madison County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Hit by vehicle
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On November 8, a Black Bear yearling was seen by the side of the road in Madison County, Virginia. A Department of Game and Inland Fisheries biologist was able to capture the young bear and transported it to the Wildlife Center the following morning.

Dr. Ernesto examined the female yearling upon admission and found her to be very thin. A deep, infected wound was noted on the bear’s left hind limb; fortunately, radiographs showed soft tissue swelling, but no fractures. The bear’s lungs were clear, heart was within normal limits, and no other signs of internal trauma were present. Blood work confirmed that the bear was anemic.

Dr. Ernesto carefully cleaned and bandaged the bear’s wound, and started a course of antibiotics and pain medication. A protective e-collar was placed on the bear, and the yearling was set up in a zinger crate in the Center’s holding room. An ear tag was placed in each ear for future identification; this bear is sporting pink and green ear tags.

The bear ate well in the days following, and became brighter and more alert. By the weekend, the bear was bright, alert, and feisty, and the veterinary team decided to move the bear to the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure on November 14 while the leg wound continued to heal. The veterinary team will continue to monitor the bear carefully, and will clean and re-bandage the wound every five days, as long as the bear keeps the bandage intact.

You can help support our work with native wildlife.

Your donation will help provide specialized medical care and nutritional support for this injured bear yearling and approximately 4,000 other patients that the Wildlife Center will help this year.


Patient Updates

During the past two weeks, the veterinarians have darted and anesthetized Black Bear yearling #16-2409 every five days so that they could manage the bear’s deep leg wound. Dr. Ernesto was pleased with the healing progress of the wound and was pleasantly surprised on December 1 when he examined the bear’s leg again. At this point, the wound has healed well and only a small superficial injury remains; Dr. Ernesto feels that the yearling will continue to heal well in the Center’s Bear Complex. The bear has gained weight since admission but is still very thin.

The yearling’s protective e-collar was removed, and the yearling was placed in the transition area of yard #2 in the Center’s Black Bear Complex. The bear will remain there for a couple of days before she is introduced to the 11 bear cubs in the yard.

Black Bear yearling #16-2409 has been doing well in the Center’s Large Mammal Isolation enclosure. It’s always a challenge to keep a bandage on a rambunctious bear patient, but the yearling’s e-collar has been working to prevent the bear from disturbing the bandage.

On November 21, Dr. Ernesto darted and anesthetized the bear so that a complete wound assessment could be performed. He was pleased with the healing progress; the wound has nice granulation tissue underneath, indicating that it is healing. Dr. Ernesto cleaned and flushed the wound, applied medical honey, and re-applied the bandage before placing the bear back in the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure to recover.