Black Bear cubs #18-0345 & 18-0346

Admission Date: 
April 13, 2018
Release Date: 
April 11, 2019
Location of Rescue: 
Nelson County, Virginia
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Separated from mother
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

The 2018 Black Bear cub season started on Friday, April 13 – when the first two cubs of the year were admitted!

A citizen in Nelson County saw the two cubs on Friday, April 6, and while he didn’t see signs of their mother, he knew it was best to leave the cubs alone and observe the situation. He saw the cubs four days later, and decided to put in a trail camera to check for signs of the sow. Footage didn’t show any adult bears, so the citizen called the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. Wildlife rehabilitator Brie went along with two DGIF biologists to pick up the cubs in Nelson County on the evening of April 12.

The following morning, a DGIF biologist attempted to foster the two cubs onto a wild sow. DGIF has had two successful fostering attempts so far this year; they are able to track denning sows through their ongoing radio-collaring project. Black Bear Project Leader Jaime Sajecki recently noted that it’s the time of year when sows and cubs are starting to emerge from dens; as they move more, the chances of successful fostering decrease dramatically. The attempt to foster these two cubs did not work; the sow was alert and moving out of the den and the biologist decided not to risk upsetting her with additional interaction.

The two cubs – both females – were admitted to the Wildlife Center in the afternoon. Drs. Ingrid, Peach, and veterinary technician intern Jenna examined the cubs and found them both to be healthy, though both were thin. Each bear cub was ear tagged for identification purposes: #18-0345 is now Green Tag and #18-0346 is Orange Tag. Green Tag weighed in at 1.95 kg and Orange Tag was 2.13 kg.

Green Tag: 


Orange Tag: 


The cubs will be housed together in a large crate and the rehabilitation staff will bottle-feed the cubs three times a day. The cubs already show interest in their “mush bowl” – a bowl of soft food with thickened formula. The cubs will likely move in their crate to a secure outdoor enclosure next week, though will need to be at least 3.0 kg before they are able to move into the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure.

Your special donation will help the Center to provide long-term rehabilitation care to these young cubs … and all of the patients admitted in 2018. Please help!


April 11, 2019

The bear releases continue this week – with seven more bear yearlings out the door!

The Wildlife Center team successfully darted and loaded seven bears this morning; some of the bears had already received their pre-release exam and ear-tagging earlier this week when they were moved to Large Mammal Isolation. All bears are in good condition. A number have shown some hair loss along their flanks; the staff has noted this during the past couple of years on yearling bears in the early spring. This appears to be something that is seen in captive-raised bear cubs but has not been a long-term issue for bears once they have more room in the wild.

Today’s release group includes:

Black Bear cub #18-0345 [Green Tag]: final weight 50.9 kg
Black Bear cub #18-0346 [Orange Tag]: final weight 46.3 kg
Black Bear cub #18-0349 [No Tag]: final weight 43.7 kg
Black Bear cub #18-0350 [Pink Tag]: final weight: 32.4 kg
Black Bear cub #18-0383 [Red]: final weight 45.4 kg
Black Bear cub #18-0933 [Double Green Tags]: final weight 47.4 kg
Black Bear cub #18-1315 [Double Yellow Tags]: final weight 42.4 kg

Wildlife rehabilitators Brie and Kelsey are attending the release with DGIF biologists; hopefully we’ll have photos and/or video to share later!

April 16, 2018

The four Black Bear cubs at the Center are all settling in well – wildlife rehabilitator Brie reports that all of the cubs have gained weight since their Friday admissions. Each set of sibling cubs is housed in a zinger crate, though all four cubs have been introduced to each other and have a supervised group play time at each feeding. 

The rehab team reports that Orange Tag and Green Tag are both bottle-feeding well; No Tag and Pink Tag don’t particularly care for the bottle but are very interested in their mush bowls [thickened formula and baby food].


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