Black Bear cub #17-0352 [No Tag]

March 31, 2017
April 3, 2018
Rescue Location
Roanoke County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Found alone
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On March 31, an infant female Black Bear cub was admitted to the Wildlife Center. The cub was found crying under a log near a drainage opening in Roanoke County; the citizen who found the cub was concerned that the bear might fall into the drain and be swept away due to the heavy rain. A biologist with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries assessed the situation; there was no sign of a sow, and the biologist decided to bring the cub to the Wildlife Center.

Dr. Peach, one of the Center’s veterinarians, examined the cub when she arrived. The bear was mildly hypothermic, mildly dehydrated, and a little thin. Radiographs and blood work were within normal limits. The rehabilitation staff set the cub up in an incubator and began planning a feeding schedule of four times a day.

Ideally, a wild foster mom would be found for this young cub, but many sows are becoming more active at this time of year, and are spending more time out of their dens. Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Black Bear Project Leader Jaime Sajecki also notes that past fostering situations that occur later in the spring have not been successful in past years when attempted at the Virginia Tech bear facility. Jaime has been monitoring the radiocollared sows closely, and determined that were was one potential opportunity that might work for this cub.

On Tuesday, VDGIF biologists decided to attempt fostering the cub onto one denning sow with an accessible den; unfortunately, the team was unable to locate the sow in her den. Based on tracking data, an additional attempt to locate the sow might be made during the week of April 10.

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

Patient Updates

On the morning of April 3, the Wildlife Center team was able to successfully dart four bears: #17-0352 [No Tag], #17-0745 [Pink Tag], #17-0606 [Orange Tag], and #17-0444 [White Tag]. Each bear was examined and had blood drawn and a skin scraping, all of which were negative for mites. The bears received a green ear tag in each ear, were weighed, and loaded into a bear trap on a DGIF truck. They’ll be released early this afternoon by a DGIF biologist.

Black Bears of 2017 Releases

Final weights — and photos!

Orange Tag: 30.2 kg

No Tag: 31.6 kg

Pink Tag: 36.9 kg

White Tag: 31.2 kg

The next set of bears will be darted and picked up on Thursday morning; the final bears may be picked up on Thursday afternoon.

Afternoon Update: Katie, the DGIF biologist who released No Tag, Pink Tag, Orange Tag, and White Tag today reported in this afternoon that everything went well! She told wildlife rehabilitator Brie that there were a couple of bears who were a little sleepy when they came out of the bear trap, but all four bears headed straight for the woods. One even climbed a tree right away to get farther away.

No Tag:

One of the four:

No Tag:

All three Black Bear cubs are doing well at the Wildlife Center. The two male cubs are well-matched for each other — they are closer in age and weight, and enjoy playing with one another. At feeding time, the cubs are allowed free range of the room where they are housed, and they have time to romp and play after eating. The female cub has gained enough weight to graduate to three times a day feedings.

Here are two videos of the cub — the first video is of the female and first male cub (before the third cub arrived).

This video of the two male cubs playing; the newest cub is identified by the green paint on his ears. Soon, they’ll receive identification tags.

The two bear cubs are doing well; both are eating well and gaining weight. Wildlife rehabilitator Brie says that both are becoming more playful and are wrestling with each other; the male cub is often interested in attempting to play while his new sister eats. The female cub (17-0352) now weighs 1.37 kg while the male (17-0374) weighs 1.90 kg.

                                           Female cub                                                                                                                Male cub

The two bear cubs are doing well and are currently housed together. The female cub is currently taking her bottle well and eating four times a day;  she currently weighs 1.05 kg. The male cub only requires three feedings a day, based on his weight. Dr. Kelli reports that the male cub hasn’t quite taken to his bottle yet, but is readily licking his formula and baby food from a lid.

                            Female cub, #17-0352                                                                                        Male cub, #17-374