Black Bear cub #13-0425

April 14, 2013
January 24, 2014
Rescue Location
Greene County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Toe luxation
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On April 13, a homeowner in Greene County found a small bear cub in her backyard with her dog. The cub was vocalizing loudly, and the homeowner was unsure if her dog had picked up the bear in the woods and brought it into the yard. The rescuer noted an injury to the bear’s toe, but wanted to give the sow an opportunity to reclaim her cub, so she placed the cub in an open pet carrier at the edge of the woods that evening. In the morning, the cub was still present and was transported to the Wildlife Center.

Upon admission, Black Bear cub #13-0425 was examined by Dr. Dana Tedesco, the Center’s veterinary intern. The cub was slightly thin and very dehydrated; Dr. Dana administered subcutaneous fluids before radiographing the small male cub. Radiographs confirmed that the second digit on the bear’s right front paw was luxated (dislocated). Dr. Dana bandaged  the bear’s toes and settled the cub into the Center’s holding room for the night. The bear weighed in at 1.16 kgs.

On April 15, the Center consulted with DGIF to determine the best course of action for this new bear cub, as well as Black Bear Cub #13-0389. While the Center had considered placing cub #13-0389 at Virginia Tech’s Black Bear program with a sow and three other cubs, that is no longer an option – another orphaned cub was introduced to the Virginia Tech bear family over the course of the weekend. The Wildlife Center will keep both cubs, together, at the Wildlife Center. The rehabilitation staff are feeding each cub five times a day.

At the Wildlife Center, we treat to release. Your donation will help support the Center’s life-saving work with this young Black Bear … and with thousands of wild animals in need.

Photo album of 2013 Black Bear patients:

Black Bear patients of 2013

Patient Updates

On January 24, the first of several Black Bear releases began. Five bears in transition area #2 were successfully darted and anesthetized by Wildlife Center staff and DGIF biologists. Circular ear tags were placed in both ears of each bear, and the bears were scanned for microchips. Bears #13-0425, #13-1266, #13-1044, #13-0469, and an un-scannable female were loaded into a large bear trap. The veterinary team provided the bears with a reversal medication before the doors were locked and the trap was loaded onto the DGIF truck. The bears should be totally awake by the time they reach the release site.

The six bears in transition area #1 will remain in that area of the bear complex throughout the weekend, in preparation for next week’s releases. The biologist who will be taking four of these larger bears will scope out the remote release site on Monday, to ensure he is able to access the site in the snow.

The rehabilitation team will attempt to shift two or three bears in yard #2 into transition area #2 this weekend. If successful, the bears will go in Monday’s release group, along with one or two smaller bears from transition area #1.

Black Bear Release #1: January 24, 2014

Comparison Photos:

When Black Bear cub #13-0425 was first admitted, the veterinary team prescribed a short course of pain medication for the bear’s dislocated toe. This video shows the cub as it is waking up from anesthesia and getting a dose of pain meds.  The medication does not taste very good!

After Black Bear cub #13-0425’s toe bandage fell off, Dr. Dana decided to suture the bandage in place on April 15. After anesthetizing the cub, Dr. Dana carefully sutured the bandage in place – directly to the bear’s skin. By providing a secure bandage and essentially splinting the injured toe to the toe next to it, Dr. Dana ensured that the cub’s injury is more likely to heal. On April 17, the bandage was intact. Additional radiographs will be taken on April 21.