Black Bear cub #20-0833

May 5, 2020
Rescue Location
Alleghany County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Former Patient

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On May 5, a male Black Bear cub was admitted from Alleghany County. The history of the bear cub is limited, though the bear did spend some time with humans prior to his arrival at the Center.

Dr. Karra examined the cub when he arrived, and found that he was bright, alert, and very feisty. The cub weighed 1.9 kg and was in good body condition. No injuries or problems were found on radiographs and blood work; Dr. Karra elected to not ear tag this bear due to his small size. Throughout the procedure, the bear acted appropriately fearful of humans.

The cub was placed in a Zinger crate and moved to the hallway of the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure. He will be introduced to the other 13 bear cubs on May 15. Watch for him on the Center’s Critter Cam!

If you find a lone bear cub, every attempt should be made to ensure the cub isn’t being inappropriately taken from the mother bear, who may not be in the immediate area. Leave the cub alone, do not attempt to feed, pick up, or handle the cub. Keep other people and pets away from the area. Often the mother will return to retrieve the cub. If you observe the cub for more than 12 consecutive hours in the winter or 24 consecutive hours in the spring, call the Wildlife Conflict Helpline 1-855-571-9003. The Wildlife Conflict Helpline will contact DGIF for further response. DGIF will arrange to get the cub to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, where the cub may grow and learn with other bear cubs in a proper environment.

Your donation will help support this Black Bear cub … and the growing group of cubs we’ll be caring for until the spring of 2021. Thank you! 

Patient Updates

The Wildlife Center staff are deeply saddened to report that Black Bear cub #20-0833 [Double Orange Tags] died on May 26. The bear appeared to be sleeping on the ground, though when other cubs moved the cub, it became clear that something was not quite right. Rehabilitators Kelsey and Shannon quickly went to check on the situation and found Double Orange, deceased.

Dr. Karra examined the cub and took a series of radiographs and found that the bear had multiple skull fractures. The staff suspect that the bear cub may have fallen from the top of the enclosure. The cubs generally are able to safely roughhouse with one another, but this incident is a reminder that accidents can happen in captivity, even though the staff work hard to make the entire space safe for all cubs.

The rehabilitation staff will be assessing each cub individually and will likely be separating the remaining 14 cubs in the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure into two groups, based on size and weight.