Black Bear cub #16-2441

November 15, 2016
April 13, 2017
Rescue Location
Warren County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On November 15, a Black Bear sow was hit and killed by a car in Warren County, Virginia. A private citizen saw the sow’s cub hanging around the area during the day and called animal control officials for help. The bear was able to be captured and admitted to the Wildlife Center later that same evening.

The small male cub was in good body condition, but was smaller than expected at this time of year, weighing in at 7.3 kg. Dr. Ernesto found a very heavy parasite load in the bear’s feces; radiographs revealed abnormalities in the bear’s lungs, indicating possible bacterial or parasitic pneumonia. At this point, the bear is not having difficulty breathing, though further observation is needed.

Dr. Ernesto started the cub on a course of anti-parasitic medication and antibiotics and placed the bear in the Center’s Large Mammal Isolation enclosure. The bear will remain there until both treatments have ended; if the bear recovers from the pneumonia, he will be tagged and moved to the Black Bear Complex with the other 11 bear cubs.

Your special donation will help the Center to provide care to this orphaned Black Bear … and to the 2,500 sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals the Center will treat this year.

Patient Updates

The veterinary team have been monitoring Black Bear cub #16-2441 in the days following his admission; the bear did not have any signs of respiratory distress, despite the abnormal lung radiographs on admission. On November 25, the cub was darted and sedated for additional radiographs; Dr. Peach noted that the lung pattern on the radiograph actually appeared slightly worse than it did on admission. Dr. Peach explained that lung issues typically resolve more slowly and will continue to heal after the full course of antibiotics is given.

Additional observation confirmed that the cub did not have any clinical signs; the cubs respiratory rate and sounds were normal. On November 28, the cub was allowed to have direct contact with his neighbor, yearling #16-2409. On December 1, after #16-2409 was examined and moved to the Black Bear Complex, a large live trap was set to catch cub #16-2441.

After the cub was caught, Dr. Peach darted and anesthetized the cub so that a colored identification tag could be placed in each ear. The cub is now "Red/Green Tag" and was moved to the transition area of yard #2 to recover, along with yearling #16-2409. After a couple of days, the cub will be allowed to mingle with the other 11 cubs in yard #2.