Black Bear cub #23-1605 [Double Orange]

June 5, 2023
Rescue Location
Bedford County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Separated from mother
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On June 2, a Black Bear cub was seen alone in a tree in Bedford County. After no sign of a sow was observed in the area for three days, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources biologists determined the cub had been orphaned, and transported it to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the evening of June 5.

On admission, the male cub was bright, alert, and actively showing appropriate defensive behaviors within the crate. Upon intake, he was slightly thin and dehydrated, weighing 5.95 kg with a body condition score of 2/5. A physical examination performed by Veterinary Intern Dr. Olivia revealed a heavy tick burden and scabbing on the cub’s skin associated with tick bites, but no major injuries were found. Following a series of radiographs that did not show any skeletal injuries or internal abnormalities, blood and fecal samples were taken for later testing. Based on his overall condition and circumstance of rescue, it’s likely that this cub was orphaned and could not find sufficient resources on his own.

Veterinary staff administered fluids and anti-parasitic medication and placed a temporary identification tag on each of the cub’s ears. This bear will be known as “Double Orange” during treatment and rehabilitation at the Center.

On June 5, Double Orange was placed in a large Zinger crate situated in the LMI enclosure chute. That night, the young bear broke out of the crate and retreated into the ceiling of the enclosure – a secure space, but difficult for staff to access. In an effort to safely retrieve Double Orange while keeping his levels of stress as low as possible, a small hole was cut into the ceiling and a live trap was placed in the enclosure. After two days, the cub was successfully captured and safely returned to the enclosure chute without incident or injury. Once the cub’s tick burden is resolved, he will be gradually introduced to the other Black Bear Cubs of 2023 during supervised interactions.

You can help support our work with native wildlife.

Your donation will help provide care to this orphaned Black Bear cub and approximately 4,000 other patients that the Wildlife Center will help this year.


Patient Updates

On April 8, the traps in the transition yard of the Bear Complex were set and the bears were lured into the transition yard. The following morning, the rehab team found that Double Green and One Ear were successfully trapped; the other three bears were still in the yard. 

Later that morning, DWR biologists transported Double Green and One Ear to their release location in Rockbridge County, where they did a full workup on each bear before release. Both bears were deemed healthy -- Double Green weighed in at 55 pounds, and One Ear weighed in at 83 pounds! The biologists reported that the release went well and that both bears quickly ran off into their new home. 


On April 10, the rehab team attempted to lure the remaining three bears back into the transition yard; Double Lavender was successfully trapped, but Double Blue became stressed and climbed the fence back into the main bear yard. The rehab team decided to let Double Orange back into the main yard to be with Blue since they hope to release them together. 

On the morning of April 11, the vet team anesthetized Lavendar to do a final exam. Lavender weighed in at 65 pounds and the vet team determined that she was ready for release. Shortly later, DWR biologists picked her up and transported her to her new home. The biologists reported that Lavender was released into an area with "good spring foods" due to early growth, so she will likely have no problem finding food. 

Currently, the plan is to feed the remaining two bears -- Double Blue and Double Orange -- in the transition yard over the weekend. The rehab team will place plenty of treats in the traps and will attempt to trap and release the bears next week.