Black Bear #23-2442

Admitted
July 12, 2023
Released
April 9, 2024
Rescue Location
Fauquier County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Orphaned
Status
Current Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On July 11, a young bear cub was found, along a road in Fauquier County, beside her deceased mother. Rescuers contacted the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, and the bear was admitted the following morning to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Dr. Marit, one of the Center’s veterinary interns, examined the cub when she arrived and found that the bear was quiet but alert. The cub was a little thin, with a body condition score of 2/5, and weighed in at 5.5 kg – much smaller than the other four cubs currently in the Center’s care. The bear didn’t have any injuries, though had a heavy burden of ticks, particularly around her ears and front legs. A skin scraping revealed several Ursicoptes mange mites.

The team treated the bear with an anti-parasitic and gave subcutaneous fluids before setting her up in a Zinger crate. The rehabilitation staff placed the crate in the vestibule area of the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure, so the cub could see and hear the other bear cubs, though the new cub will remain separate until she is parasite-free. The bear was tagged with a green identification tag in each ear.

On July 13, the rehabilitation staff gave additional topical anti-parasitic medications. The staff are offering the bear a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and insects, along with a mush bowl of thickened bear cub formula.

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Patient Updates

On April 8, the traps in the transition yard of the Bear Complex were set and the bears were lured into the transition yard. The following morning, the rehab team found that Double Green and One Ear were successfully trapped; the other three bears were still in the yard. 

Later that morning, DWR biologists transported Double Green and One Ear to their release location in Rockbridge County, where they did a full workup on each bear before release. Both bears were deemed healthy -- Double Green weighed in at 55 pounds, and One Ear weighed in at 83 pounds! The biologists reported that the release went well and that both bears quickly ran off into their new home.

On April 10, the rehab team attempted to lure the remaining three bears back into the transition yard; Double Lavender was successfully trapped, but Double Blue became stressed and climbed the fence back into the main bear yard. The rehab team decided to let Double Orange back into the main yard to be with Blue since they hope to release them together.

On the morning of April 11, the vet team anesthetized Lavendar to do a final exam. Lavender weighed in at 65 pounds and the vet team determined that she was ready for release. Shortly later, DWR biologists picked her up and transported her to her new home. The biologists reported that Lavender was released into an area with "good spring foods" due to early growth, so she will likely have no problem finding food.

Currently, the plan is to feed the remaining two bears -- Double Blue and Double Orange -- in the transition yard over the weekend. The rehab team will place plenty of treats in the traps and will attempt to trap and release the bears next week.