On March 31, an infant female Black Bear cub was admitted to the Wildlife Center. The cub was found crying under a log near a drainage opening in Roanoke County; the citizen who found the cub was concerned that the bear might fall into the drain and be swept away due to the heavy rain. A biologist with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries assessed the situation; there was no sign of a sow, and the biologist decided to bring the cub to the Wildlife Center.
Dr. Peach, one of the Center's veterinarians, examined the cub when she arrived. The bear was mildly hypothermic, mildly dehydrated, and a little thin. Radiographs and blood work were within normal limits. The rehabilitation staff set the cub up in an incubator and began planning a feeding schedule of four times a day.
Ideally, a wild foster mom would be found for this young cub, but many sows are becoming more active at this time of year, and are spending more time out of their dens. Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Black Bear Project Leader Jaime Sajecki also notes that past fostering situations that occur later in the spring have not been successful in past years when attempted at the Virginia Tech bear facility. Jaime has been monitoring the radiocollared sows closely, and determined that were was one potential opportunity that might work for this cub.
On Tuesday, VDGIF biologists decided to attempt fostering the cub onto one denning sow with an accessible den; unfortunately, the team was unable to locate the sow in her den. Based on tracking data, an additional attempt to locate the sow might be made during the week of April 10.