Black Bear cubs #13-1266 and #13-1277

June 4, 2013
January 27, 2014
Rescue Location
Tazewell County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On June 3, a Black Bear sow was hit and killed by a car in Tazewell, Virginia. A biologist with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was able to rescue one of her two cubs; the larger of the two cubs was evasive and was unable to be captured at that time. The following morning, the captured cub was transported to the Wildlife Center.

Upon admission, Dr. Rich and diagnostic intern Katie anesthetized the feisty cub for a physical examination, radiographs, and blood work. No injuries were noted. The male cub weighed in at 4.6 kgs. After providing the cub with subcutaneous fluids, the bear was settled into the Center’s holding room. The rehabilitation staff will offer the cub a small bear meal, as well as a dish of formula once a day.

On the afternoon of June 4, the Wildlife Center received word that the second cub was captured in Tazewell; this cub will be transported to the Wildlife Center by DGIF.

At the Wildlife Center, we treat to release. Your donation will help support the Center’s life-saving work with this Black Bear cub … and with thousands of wild animals in need.

Patient Updates

Black Bear cub #13-1266, Monday’s escapee, was spotted this morning in a tree right beside the Center’s Bear Pen! It appears as though the cub was able to extract the food out of the live trap last night, but managed to avoid being caught. A student has been stationed at the Bear Pen to watch the cub this morning. The staff will put up a small temporary fence around the cub’s tree today, and will be seeking a larger trap to catch the bear.

Black Bear cub #13-1266 was successfully captured this morning after Dr. Rich, the Center’s veterinary fellow, darted the cub when it was in a tree. A extern student, Emily, was posted as the “cub guard” this morning when the cub was first spotted back in a tree near the Center’s Bear Pen; at about 10:30 a.m. she saw the cub beginning to climb down the tree. Emily radioed to the rest of the staff, and a small number of vet staff members went to investigate. Dr. Rich decided that he had a clear shot of the cub, so he fired a dart. The first dart missed – but the second one was a direct hit somewhere on the bear’s left rump. After a couple of minutes of attempting to hang onto the tree, the cub fell asleep and fell – directly into the tarp that four staff members were holding.

Dr. Rich performed a physical examination – the cub appeared to be just fine. The cub was weighed [5.56 kg] and microchipped and was placed into a sturdy Zinger bear crate until Dr. Rich gave the reversal drug about 10 minutes later. When the cub started to wake up, the Zinger was placed into the main Bear Pen 2 area [the rest of the cubs were enclosed in the den]. Dr. Rich will check on the cub several more times throughout the afternoon. Once the cub is fully awake and alert, it will be re-introduced to its “siblings”.


On the morning of June 5, a Black Bear cub – and sibling to #13-1266 – was admitted to the Wildlife Center. This female cub is patient #13-1277 and is the 16th bear cub currently being treated at the Center. She appears healthy and weighs 3.97 kgs. The cub was settled into an enclosure the Center’s holding room. Both new cubs will be moved outside after their fecal examinations are processed. The staff have not yet decided where the cubs will be housed outside.