Black Bear cub #17-0374 [Red Tag]

Admission Date: 
April 5, 2017
Release Date: 
April 5, 2018
Location of Rescue: 
Madison County, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Separated from mother
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

On April 4, a citizen in Madison County, Virginia, found a bear cub by itself. The citizen left the area in case the sow was nearby and called the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). To ensure that the bear wasn't unintentionally "bear-napped", everyone decided to leave the cub where it was. On the morning of April 5, the cub was still by itself and was crying, so a biologist with VDGIF picked up the cub and transported it to the Wildlife Center.

Dr. Ernesto examined the infant male cub when he arrived. The cub was bright and alert, and had no injuries; he was in good body condition and weighed in at 1.63 kg.

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 when attempted at the Virginia Tech bear facility. The VDGIF biologists might attempt a den check during the week of April 10, but now that the Center is caring this cub as well as #17-0352, an appropriate foster situation will likely be difficult to find.

The two cubs will be introduced to one another and will be bottle-fed until they are big enough to eat on their own.

Your special donation will help the Center to provide long-term rehabilitation care to this young cub … and all of the patients admitted in 2017. Please help!


April 5, 2018

On the morning of Thursday, April 5, the Wildlife Center veterinary team was able to successfully dart and sedate Black Bears #17-0744 [Yellow Tag], #17-0411 [Green Tag], and #17-0374 [Red Tag]. The bears each received an examination and skin scraping; everything was within normal limits. Each bear received a green ear tag in both ears prior to loading into the DGIF truck for release.

Dr. Peach, wildlife rehabilitator Brie, wildlife rehabilitation intern Shannon, director of outreach Amanda, and outreach coordinator Raina were able to attend the release with two DGIF biologists. Red Tag, who was loaded last and separated in the bear trap from the other two bears, appeared to be the most alert and was released first. The bear was still a little sleepy, but walked off into the woods.


Dr. Peach “reversed” the other two bears’ sedation with an additional injection of drugs, and the team waited for about 20 minutes while the bears woke up. Both were still a little wobbly and were slow to jump out of the truck. Once they did, they both walked off into the woods.



After the release team came back to the Wildlife Center, Double Orange Tags [#17-2065] and Double Yellow Tags [#17-2035] were darted, sedated, examined, tagged, and loaded into the DGIF truck. They'll be released early this evening. 

Yellow Tag: 40.6 kg

Green Tag: 39.4 kg 

Red Tag: 58.4 kg

Double Orange Tags: 49.9 kg

Double Yellow Tags: 42.8 kg

April 14, 2017

All three Black Bear cubs are doing well at the Wildlife Center. The two male cubs are well-matched for each other -- they are closer in age and weight, and enjoy playing with one another. At feeding time, the cubs are allowed free range of the room where they are housed, and they have time to romp and play after eating. The female cub has gained enough weight to graduate to three times a day feedings.

Here are two videos of the cub -- the first video is of the female and first male cub (before the third cub arrived).

This video of the two male cubs playing; the newest cub is identified by the green paint on his ears. Soon, they'll receive identification tags.

April 11, 2017

The two bear cubs are doing well; both are eating well and gaining weight. Wildlife rehabilitator Brie says that both are becoming more playful and are wrestling with each other; the male cub is often interested in attempting to play while his new sister eats. The female cub (17-0352) now weighs 1.37 kg while the male (17-0374) weighs 1.90 kg.


                                           Female cub                                                                                                                Male cub

April 6, 2017

The two bear cubs are doing well and are currently housed together. The female cub is currently taking her bottle well and eating four times a day;  she currently weighs 1.05 kg. The male cub only requires three feedings a day, based on his weight. Dr. Kelli reports that the male cub hasn't quite taken to his bottle yet, but is readily licking his formula and baby food from a lid.


                            Female cub, #17-0352                                                                                        Male cub, #17-374

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