Black Bear cubs #18-0497 & #18-0498

April 25, 2018
April 4, 2019
Rescue Location
Amherst County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Separated from mother
Former Patient
Patient photo

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On April 25, two DGIF biologists responded to a bear cub call in Amherst County, Virginia. Two small cubs had been seen in a tree for more than 24 hours; the tree was beside a road with a sharp curve, and multiple people had stopped to look at the cubs. There was no sign of their mother in the area; a Conservation Police Officer recommended rescuing the cubs for both human and bear safety. One of the DGIF biologists was able to climb the tree to safely retrieve the two cubs.

The cubs were admitted to the Wildlife Center just a few hours later. Dr. Ernesto, the Center’s hospital director, and veterinary student Miranda examined the cubs when they arrived. Cub #18-0497, a male, was ear tagged with a yellow identification tag in his right ear. The cub was in good condition and weighed in at 3.0 kg. Dr. Ernesto found a corneal ulcer on the bear’s left eye, which he treated with an antibiotic ointment. Cub #18-0498, also a male, weighed in at 2.65 kg and was ear tagged with a white tag in his right ear. Both cubs were covered in ticks.

Once both cubs recovered from anesthesia, they were set up in a crate in the Center’s Metal Cage Complex, where the other cubs are housed. Wildlife rehabilitator Brie prepared a bottle of electrolyte solution for each cub. They’ll be introduced to the Center’s other five cubs on April 26.

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Patient Updates

After two more days of dedicated bear-trapping attempts, Brie was successfully able to lure all of the remaining yearlings into live traps by Wednesday afternoon! The bears were moved to Large Mammal Isolation in preparation for release.

A biologist came this morning to load the two bears; the team weighed and tagged them for release:

Bear #19-0057 [Double Green Tags]. Final weight: 19.9 kg.
Bear #19-0097 [No Tags]. Final weight: 15.5 kg.

Double Green Tags: 

No Tags:


In addition, two bears from yard #3, White Tag and Yellow Tag, were able to be trapped in the transition area this morning for today’s scheduled release. White Tag [bear #18-0498] weighed 37.2 kg; Yellow Tag [bear #18-0497] weighed 51.60 kg. Both were picked up by a DGIF biologist in the afternoon.

Three more yearlings from yard #1 are now in the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure for tomorrow’s release.

That means, after this week, we’ll be down to nine bears – seven will be released on Thursday, April 11, and the final two will be released on Friday, April 12.