On October 28, the Wildlife Center admitted another Black Bear cub. The young bear was found in Winchester and was seen in someone’s yard eating cat food; the bear appeared small and thin and had wounds on its head and leg. Animal control officers were able to trap the bear; a biologist with the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries picked up the female cub and transported her to the Wildlife Center.
Dr. Karra, the Center’s veterinary intern, examined the cub when she arrived. The bear was quiet and alert and was defensive when restraint was attempted. Dr. Karra found that the small cub was infested with ticks and had a small wound on top of her head, as well as a wound on the inside of her left elbow. Both injuries were already healing, though the elbow wound appeared to be infected. The cub weighed just 5.4 kg and had a body condition score of 1.5./5.
Radiographs were within normal limits; blood work indicated that the cub was anemic, likely due to the tick infestation. Dr. Karra cleaned and bandaged the cub’s elbow injury and provided fluids and antibiotics. A skin scraping revealed three dead mange mites. While this is a low burden of mites, the team will still treat the bear for mange since mites have a short reproduction cycle, and the presence of the dead mites means there could be mite eggs present. The bear was set up in a Zinger crate in the Center’s holding room and was given a small, soft meal.
This week, the cub will be moved to the Center’s Bear Pens, where the cub can rest and recover during her initial treatment for mange. In two weeks, the bear will be examined again and additional skin scrapings will be taken. Once the bear is mite-free and has gained more weight and fully recovered from her elbow wound, she will be moved to the Bear Complex with the other cubs.