On April 14, the Wildlife Center admitted another yearling Black Bear – the 11th bear admitted in 2014. The male yearling was seen hanging around a house in Greene County, Virginia; the bear appeared to be quite thin and very lethargic. A biologist with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries responded to the scene, tranquilized the bear, and transported him to the Wildlife Center.
Upon admission, Dr. Rich examined the yearling. Dr. Rich found the bear to be severely emaciated. Blood work also confirmed that the bear was anemic. The bear had alopecia [hair loss] on his stomach and chest; a skin scraping of the hairless areas revealed no parasites, suggesting that the alopecia is from poor nutrition. No injuries were noted on the bear’s radiographs. The bear weighed 7.74 kg.
The veterinary team gave the bear fluids, a vitamin injection, and an anti-parasitic medication before it was placed in the Center’s holding room for the night. The team will begin to offer the bear very small, highly digestible meals multiple times a day. The bear’s condition is guarded due to its emaciated condition and risk for re-feeding syndrome.