In late April 2019, the Wildlife Center began admitting this year's bear cubs from several locations throughout Virginia. These bears were likely born between early January to mid-February of 2019. In most cases, the cubs were separated from their mothers.
The young bears will be cared for by the Wildlife Center until next spring, at the time when they would begin naturally dispersing from their mothers. The 2019 cubs will be released in the spring of 2020.
To limit human interaction, only a few staff care for the bear cubs. Depending on their age and condition when they arrive, cubs may live in a Zinger crate, in the Center’s Large Mammal Isolation enclosure, or in the Center’s Black Bear Complex. The Center has some set weight guidelines that help determine when cubs are ready to move to their next stage of housing; usually cubs move to the Large Mammal enclosure when they are more than 3.0 kg [typically in May] and are large enough to move to the Black Bear Complex when they are more than 10 kg [typically in July]. Cubs also must be weaned from formula before they are moved to the 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. The green "release" tags identify them as rehabilitated bear cubs.
The 2019 bear cubs include:
Black Bear cub #19-0492 [White Tag], female
Black Bear cub #19-0546 [No Tag], female
Black Bear cub #19-1176 [Orange Tag], male
Black Bear cub #19-3305 [Pink Tag], female
Black Bear cub #19-3292 [Green Tag], male