Black Bear yearling #20-2695

July 29, 2020
August 21, 2020
Rescue Location
Staunton, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Hit by vehicle
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On July 29, a male yearling Black Bear was hit by a vehicle in Staunton, Virginia. The Department of Wildlife Resources responded to the scene and was able to sedate the bear and transport him to the Wildlife Center.

Dr. Karra, the Center’s veterinary fellow, anesthetized the bear when he arrived and started a physical examination. She found that the yearling was severely hyperthermic, with an elevated temperature of 106 degrees. Dr. Karra placed an IV catheter and started cooling the bear. The yearling was bleeding from the mouth and nose, and had a difficult time breathing. Radiographs were taken and revealed a mild fracture of one of the bear’s facial bones, and damage to the bear’s lungs. The veterinary team started the bear on fluids and pain medications, and the bear’s temperature was reduced within the next few hours. The bear weighed 36 kg.

The bear was placed in the Center’s holding room for the evening. By the end of the night, the bear was still very quiet; it was difficult for Dr. Karra to assess if the bear’s attitude was due to head trauma or the sedation.

On the morning of July 30, the bear was still quiet, yet alert and reactive. The veterinary team will discontinue the bear’s sedation, and will move the yearling to the Bear Pens for additional observation. The prognosis for this yearling bear is guarded.

Your donation will help provide veterinary medical care to this injured Black Bear yearling. Thank you! 

Patient Updates

Black Bear yearling #20-2695 is officially on his way back to the wild! This morning this bear was sedated by our veterinarians and transferred over to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, who handle the transport and release of our Black Bear patients.

Before this bear left our care, the veterinarians did a quick physical and then put an ear tag on each ear, to help identify this individual should the need arise in the future. He was then hoisted into a special DWR containment enclosure for the duration of the drive to the release site. Once the bear fully regains consciousness and the effects of the sedation wear off, the sliding door will open and he will be officially back in the wild where he belongs.

Black Bear yearling #20-2695 is ready for release!

On the morning of August 21, the rehabilitation staff will sedate the bear for a final pre-release physical exam with the veterinary team. After confirming that the yearling has fully recovered and is in good body condition, Center staff will transfer the bear to a biologist from the Department of Wildlife Resources. That same morning, the yearling will be transported to a pre-determined release location and returned to the wild.

During the past week, the veterinary team noted that Black Bear yearling #20-2695 continued to improve. The bear has been able to ambulate normally in the Center’s Bear Pens, and no longer shows any signs of head trauma. The bear is healing well and has made a full recovery. The staff contacted the Department of Wildlife Resources to start to make plans for release.

Black Bear yearling #20-2698 has been doing well during the past few days; the veterinary team reports that the bear is eating well, and is able to move around the bear pen where he is housed. The team will continue to closely evaluate the bear and his movements to determine if there is any lingering head trauma present.