Black Bear Cub #12-2527

November 3, 2012
December 3, 2012
Rescue Location
Bath County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Suspected collision with a moving vehicle
Former Patient
Patient photo

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On November 3, as most of the Wildlife Center staff were preparing for the annual gala, a Black Bear cub was admitted as patient #12-2527. The cub was brought to the Wildlife Center by a permitted rehabilitator who received the bear from a state trooper; it is suspected that the young bear was hit by a moving vehicle in Bath County.

During the initial physical exam, the cub appeared bright and feisty. Other than a minor abrasion under the bear’s arm, there were no obvious abnormalities or injuries. Dr. Dana gave the bear subcutaneous fluids to assist with hydration. The bear also received pain medication, in case he was experiencing pain or discomfort.

On November 4, the bear was observed “knuckling” on his right forelimb – walking on the knuckles instead of flat on the pad of the foot. The cub was sedated and a more extensive exam was performed. Radiographs revealed asymmetry between the right and left wrist and an increase in space between the carpal bones in the right wrist. The radiograph results suggest that there may be nerve damage or an orthopedic injury to the cub’s right front foot.

The cub continues to knuckle on his right forelimb, but otherwise appears bright with a good appetite. The veterinary team will continue to monitor the bear’s attitude and use of the right forelimb. In order to limit his activity, the bear is currently housed in the Center’s holding room. The cub will remain here until the vet staff can further evaluate his foot injury.

Patient Updates

The DGIF biologist who released Black Bear cub #12-2527 on December 3 reported that the release went very well. The bear cub was taken back to its original rescue location, and promptly ran out of the transport container and up a tree.

Black Bear cub #12-2527 will be released on Monday, December 3! A biologist with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will come to the Wildlife Center to pick up the bear and transport him to his point of rescue in Bath County. Dr. Dana will dart the bear cub prior to pick-up at 10:00 a.m.

Black Bear cub #12-2527 is doing very well, and judging by the Critter Cam footage, is using his injured front paw as he climbs and walks around the bear enclosure. Dr. Dave McRuer, the Center’s veterinary director, is coordinating the bear’s release with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. DGIF will pick up the bear and transport it back to the rescue location; at this point, the release is tentatively scheduled for the week of December 3.

Using Critter Cam as a monitoring tool, the vet staff have been pleased to see Black Bear #12-2527 placing its injured front paw correctly over the past few days. The bear cub seems to be placing weight on the injured foot and while he may not be using it 100% yet, the cub seems well on the way to recovery.

The bear is receiving anti-parasitic medications in its food; the last dose will be given on November 20. If the bear continues to make improvements with his injury, the vet staff will coordinate with DGIF and will think about a post-Thanksgiving release back in Bath County.