In April 2018, the Wildlife Center began admitting this year's bear cubs from locations throughout Virginia. These bears were likely born between early January to mid-February of 2018. In most cases, the cubs were separated from their mothers or were orphaned.
Bear cubs will be cared for by the Wildlife Center until next spring, at the time when they would begin naturally dispersing from their mothers. The 2018 cubs will be released in the spring of 2019.
To limit human interaction, only a few staff care for the bear cubs. Cubs admitted in the early spring typically need supplemental heat; they live in one of the Center's patient rooms and are bottle- or bowl-fed a special bear formula multiple times a day. When they are old enough to move outside, they continue to live in a contained zinger crate, with access to a larger play space during feeding sessions. After that, the cubs are housed in the Center’s Large Mammal Isolation enclosure [typically moving in May]. Once the bear cubs are weaned from formula, they are moved to the Center’s Black Bear Complex, where they have a half-acre of forest to explore.
When introduced to other bears, each cub has a temporary colored tag placed in its ear. These tags will be removed prior to release and will be replaced with permanent green ear tags from the Virginia Department of Inland Fisheries. The temporary colored tags allow the Center staff to monitor and identify the cubs via Critter Cam. The green "release" tags identify them as rehabilitated bears.
The 2018 bears are divided into two groups:
Black Bear cub #18-0345, [Green Tag], female
Black Bear cub #18-0346 [Orange Tag], female
Black Bear cub #18-0349 [No Tag], male
Black Bear cub #18-0350 [Pink Tag], female
Black Bear cub #18-0383 [Red], male
Black Bear cub #18-0497 [Yellow Tag], male
Black Bear cub #18-0498 [White Tag], male
Black Bear cub #18-0933 [Double Green Tags], male
Black Bear cub #18-1089 [Double Pink Tags], female
Black Bear cub #18-1315 [Double Yellow Tags], male
Black Bear cub #18-1316 [Double Orange Tags], male
Black Bear cub #18-2921 [Green/Orange Tags], male
Black Bear cub #18-2926 [Pink/Orange], female
Black Bear cub #18-2983 [Red/White Tags], female
Black Bear cub #18-3024 [Orange/Yellow Tags], male
Black Bear #19-0057 [Double Green], female
Black Bear #19-0097 [No Tags], female
Cubs in the News:
The car crash left a bear dead in the road. Then a state trooper spotted her 2 cubs., The Charlotte Observer
Cute Orphaned Cubs Get Some Bear Care at Wildlife Center, Inside Edition
Trooper, Wildlife Center combine to rescue bears, The News Virginian