Black Bear cub #13-2606

November 13, 2013
April 25, 2014
Rescue Location
Botetourt County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Treed by dogs
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On November 9, a Black Bear cub was treed by dogs in Botetourt County, Virginia. When the bear did not come out of the tree after a few days, residents grew concerned and called the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. An officer tranquilized the bear on November 12, and transported it to the Center on November 13.

Dr. Rich, technician Leigh-Ann, and vet student Emma examined the cub when it arrived. The female cub was bright and feisty, and was in good body condition. Dr. Rich noted a fractured tooth in the bear’s mouth; this likely occurred during the fall from the tree. The cub weighed in at 9.55 kg [21 lbs]; while this may seem small compared to the Center’s other 16 cubs, bear cubs at this time of year range from 15 to 100 pounds.

After speaking with Jaime Sajecki, the DGIF Black Bear Project Leader, the team decided to keep the bear for further observation and feeding. While the cub appears to have been doing well in the wild, the veterinary team would like to keep a close eye on the fractured tooth. The cub will also now have the advantage of receiving additional meals through the colder season.

The bear will be housed in a sturdy zinger crate in the Center’s holding room while the team develops a plan to ultimately introduce the new cub to the other 16 bear cubs.

The Center depends on the donations of caring individuals to provide veterinary care to wildlife and training in wildlife veterinary medicine. Please help!

Patient Updates

On November 15, Dr. Dave and Kelsey, the Center’s rehabilitation intern, moved cub #13-2606 into one side of the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure. The other 16 bears were enclosed in the other side, and were able to enter the connecting tunnel between the two pens, so that all bears could get some face-to-face introductions with the newest cub.

Straw in the connecting tunnel prevented the staff from locking the guillotine door. About an hour after this phase of the introduction began, two large bear cubs managed to lift the guillotine door and slipped into the enclosure with #13-2606. The Wildlife Center staff gathered to watch the interactions of the bears.

Despite the size difference between the cubs, #13-2606 was not overly intimidated — she quickly climbed a tree trunk in the enclosure, and promptly jumped on the head of one of the larger cubs!

After three more hours of observation, with no concerning interactions, the rest of the cubs were introduced. All 17 cubs had the run of the Large Mammal Enclosure, and at one point, #13-2606 was seen hanging around the pile of food in enclosure #2.


Black Bear cub #13-2606 remains bright and feisty. The team is not overly concerned with the cub’s broken canine – radiographs clearly reveal that this tooth is a deciduous [“baby”] tooth, and will soon be replaced by an adult tooth.

The bear will begin a slow introduction to the other 16 Black Bear cubs today. The cub will remain in a Zinger crate, which will be placed in the double-door system of the Large Mammal Enclosure. This will allow the bear to see, smell, and hear the other cubs, without immediate direct access. Tomorrow, the staff will decide how to proceed – it may involve placing the 16 “original” cubs in one side of the enclosure, while the new female cub is placed in the other side.