On May 24, a yearling Black Bear was admitted to the Wildlife Center from Montgomery County, Virginia. The bear had been spotted in someone's yard for several days; while yearling bears are old enough to be on their own at this time of year, this bear appeared very thin and in need of assistance. The bear was able to be contained and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources transported him to the Wildlife Center.
Dr. Olivia, one of the Center's veterinary interns, examined the male bear when he arrived. The yearling was quiet and alert and in poor body condition, with a heavy burden of ticks. Radiographs revealed a possible old injury to the bear's left elbow. Bloodwork confirmed severe anemia and lower-than-normal levels of protein, likely due to the bear's malnutrition and heavy tick burden. A skin scrape was negative for parasites. The bear weighed 14.9 kg.
The team gave the bear subcutaneous fluids and an anti-parasitic medication and placed the yearling in a Zinger crate indoors for the evening. The following day, the staff moved the bear to the Center's bear pens for additional observation. At this point, the bear's prognosis is guarded, due to his poor body condition and issues with blood work. The staff will offer food and supportive care and will monitor the bear's ability to walk and climb using his front left leg.