Black Bear cub #22-1448 [Double Orange Tags]

Admitted
June 1, 2022
Released
April 4, 2023
Rescue Location
Loudoun County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Orphaned
Status
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On the night of May 31, a Black Bear sow was hit and killed by a vehicle in Loudoun County. Virginia Department of Wildlife Resource biologists responded to the scene and found a bear cub that had climbed a nearby tree.  Biologists Jordan and Carl worked well into the night to extract the orphaned cub from a tree; they were finally successful the following morning at 4:00 am! Carl transported the cub to the Wildlife Center just hours later as staff arrived at work.

Dr. Olivia, one of the Center’s veterinary interns, examined the male cub when he arrived. She reports that the bear was bright, alert, and responsive, and appeared in good body condition. The physical examination revealed no injuries, and radiographs and skin scrapings were also within normal limits. The cub weighed 9.60 kg – the largest of the five cubs currently at the Center!

The cub was placed in a Zinger Crate and moved to the left side of the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure later that same evening for an introduction to cub #22-0462. On the morning of June 2, wildlife rehabilitator Kelsey opened the door of the crate.

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Patient Updates

On the morning of Tuesday, April 4, one of the Black Bear yearlings was successfully trapped in preparation for release; Double Orange Tags took the bait and was safely enclosed in one of the DWR bear traps. Despite many attempts to lure a second bear into the transition area where a second trap was waiting, the remaining four bears showed no interest in the bait. After several hours, the biologists and Wildlife Center staff decided to call it quits for the day. Double Orange Tags was taken to his release location by DWR and successfully released back to the wild. Biologist Carl said that the release went well.

The traps were set again on Tuesday night, in hopes of catching several bears for a Wednesday morning release. Unfortunately, no bears were trapped, and, instead, they climbed high into a tree in the bear yard when they saw the staff arrive. After an hour of trying to shift the bears into the transition area, the team decided to postpone releases for another day.

Traps will be reset (with fresh fried chicken bait) on Wednesday evening with hopes of a Thursday morning release; if that isn’t successful, releases will be postponed until next Tuesday, April 11.

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.