Black Bear #17-0009

January 3, 2017
April 21, 2017
Rescue Location
Augusta County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Very thin/dehydrated
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On January 2, a small Black Bear was found in a field in Augusta County. At first, the rescuer thought it was a stray dog trapped in a fenced area; upon closer inspection, the rescuer realized it was a small bear. He called the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; the bear was easily captured and transported to the Center on the morning of January 3.

Dr. Peach examined the young bear, which is likely about 11 months old. The female cub was extremely thin, with a body condition score of one out of five; the bear was also severely dehydrated. No fractures were found. The cub weighed 4.63 kg.

Dr. Peach gave the bear subcutaneous fluids and an iron injection; the bear also received a green identification tag in each ear before she was placed in a zinger crate in the Center’s holding room. The bear will be offered a special canned diet that is highly digestible and formulated for animals in critical condition.

Your special donation will help the Center to provide care to this emaciated bear cub … and to all the patients who will come through our doors in 2017.

Patient Updates

Black Bears #16-2564 [Double Yellow Tags] and #17-0009 [Double Green Tags] have been doing well in transition area #2 of the Center’s Black Bear Complex. The bears have been steadily gaining weight, and now that it’s spring and natural food is becoming more abundant, the bears are ready for release. After conferring with the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries [VDGIF], the team decided that Black Bear #17-0127 [Pink/Yellow Tags] is also ready for release and can go with the two yearling females.

At this point, the release of the three bears is tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 21.

On February 16, Double Green Tag and Double Yellow Tag were successfully lured into large live traps (with the help of some fried chicken) and were moved to transition area #2 in the Black Bear Complex. The two bears will remain in this smaller space for at least two weeks to ensure that they are getting their fair share of food.

Black Bears #16-2564 [Double Yellow Tag]  and #17-0009 [Double Green Tag] have been doing well in the Center’s Bear Pen during the past few weeks. The bears are eating consistently, gaining weight, and are ready to get into a larger space. On February 13, the rehabilitation staff set two large live traps in the Bear Pens, in hopes of quickly trapping the two bears (rather than darting them) in preparation for a move to the Bear Complex. The bears have yet to fall for this trick, but when the bears are trapped, they’ll be moved to the transition area of yard #2. The two bears will remain in the separated area for the next couple of weeks to ensure they are getting their fair share of food.

Black Bears #16-2564 and #17-0009 — the two most recent bears admitted — are both doing well in the Center’s Bear Pen, where they are housed together. The staff initially had some challenges getting the new "sisters" to eat during the recent cold snap in Waynesboro; both bears were exhibiting normal winter denning behavior, and were not very active. Fortunately, the weather warmed up and both bears are eating much more consistently.

The two bears will remain in the Center’s Bear Pen for at least the next week while they gain weight.

Black Bear #17-0009 has been eating well in the days following her admission. The bear is quiet but alert, and her hydration level has improved. Due to her size and energy level, it’s been fairly easy for the staff to restrain her to give subcutaneous fluids daily.

Since the bear ate her critical care diet in the days following her admission, Dr. Ernesto began to introduce regular food to the cub on January 6. If the cub eats well, she’ll be moved to Bear Pen 1 to meet cub #16-2564.