On June 5, the Wildlife Center admitted an adult Black Bear from Shenandoah County, after the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was able to successfully trap the bear. The bear had symptoms of mange -- significant hair loss and thickened skin all over her body.
The female bear was quiet and alert on arrival; Dr. Ernesto was able to dart and anesthetize the bear for a physical exam. The bear was severely dehydrated and thin; skin scrapes confirmed mange mites. Blood was drawn for analysis, which indicated that the bear was anemic. She weighed in at 31.7 kg.
The bear was treated with an anti-parasitic and was set up in one of the Center's Bear Pens. The staff will closely monitor the bear's attitude and appetite in the coming weeks. Center veterinarians are working on a pilot research protocol on mange treatment; the team hopes that with this new medication, bears can be effectively treated for mange with fewer doses of medication.