Black Bear cub #22-1087

Admitted
May 16, 2022
Released
April 12, 2023
Rescue Location
Salem, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Separated from mother
Status
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 15, a small Black Bear cub was rescued from a tree in Salem, Virginia. The bear had been seen in the same tree for 36 hours with no sign of a sow. The cub was first taken to the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke for overnight care, then transported to the Wildlife Center of Virginia the following morning.

The Wildlife Center’s veterinary team examined the female cub and found her to be thin and dehydrated, with a body condition score of 1.5/5. Skin scrapes and radiographs were within normal limits; blood was also drawn for analysis. Given the cub’s underweight body condition, it’s likely that she was separated from her mother days ago. The cub weighed 1.48 kg.

The rehabilitation staff placed the young bear in a Zinger crate and plan to bottle- or bowl-feed (depending on the cub’s preference) three times a day. The Zinger crate was placed in the Center’s Large Mammal enclosure, where two other cubs are currently housed. For now, the cub will live with cub #22-0685, since these two small bears are close in size.

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Patient Updates

On April 12, the four remaining Black Bears of 2022 were successfully released!

On the evening of April 11, wildlife rehabilitator Mac was able to successfully lure the four bears into the transition yard where there were two set bear traps. The bears were enclosed in the transition area, and within an hour, both Blue Tag and Double Pink Tags were trapped.

The following morning, the veterinary team was able to successfully dart and anesthetize Double Yellow and Double White; once those bears were safely examined, weighed, tagged, and loaded into transport containers, the team then sedated Double Pink Tags for a final exam and weight. Double Blue remained in the transport trap and remained awake as he departed the Wildlife Center; the DWR biologists sedated and worked up Blue Tag in the field prior to release.

All four bears were taken to the same general habitat; Double Yellow and Double White were released together in one area, and Blue Tag and Double Pink were released on the opposite end of the habitat. DWR biologist Carl and wildlife rehabilitator Mac said the releases went well!

The final weigh-in, from largest to smallest:

Double Yellow Tags (#22-0462): 50 kg
Double Blue Tags (#22-0685): 45.45 kg
Double White Tags (#22-1376): 28.5 kg
Double Pink Tags (#22-1087): 26.90 kg

The biologists were unable to weigh Double Orange Tags last week but estimated he weighed about 31 kg.

 

 

In February, Dr. Karra, the Center’s Director of Veterinary Services, was contacted by staff from the Department of Wildlife Resources to start planning the release of the Black Bear cubs of 2022. Given how mild the weather has been, the release has been scheduled for the first week of April. The current plan is to release one group of bears on Tuesday, April 4 and another group on Wednesday, April 5.

To facilitate this, staff from DWR will bring large culvert traps to the Center that will be placed inside the bear yards. The bears will have about a week to get used to the traps before the day of the planned capture.

During the past month, the rehabilitation team has started to increase the bears' diet in preparation for spring and their upcoming release.