Black Bear yearling 18-0222

Admission Date: 
March 29, 2018
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Thin, undernourished
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

A yearling male Black Bear was admitted to the Wildlife Center on March 29 – the first bear of 2018! A citizen in Bland County saw the thin yearling hanging out in the same area for a few days and reported the bear to the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries; a biologist responded to the call and was able to trap the bear and bring him to the Wildlife Center.

Dr. Monica, one of the Center’s veterinary interns, examined the small yearling when it arrived. The bear was bright and alert, and lunged at staff when they attempted to restrain him. The bear was anesthetized for a full physical exam. Dr. Monica found that the bear was extremely thin, with a body condition of 1/5. The bear also had some hair loss on his hind feet, as well as scabs and ulcers on the pads of all of his feet. He was extremely dehydrated. Radiographs were within normal limits; initial blood work showed a mild anemia. The bear weighed just 3.84 kg. While the bear is very thin, his frame is much smaller than average for a yearling bear.  

Hair samples and skin scrapes were taken for several diagnostics tests; no mites were seen, and the technician staff set up a test for ringworm, which will take several days to complete. The bear was given fluids and was set up in the Center’s holding room with a small meal. The bear’s prognosis is guarded due to his thin body condition. During the next few days, the staff will continue to provide fluids and will focus on providing nutrition to the bear.

Your donation will help provide long-term rehabilitation and care to this yearling bear. Thanks for your support!


April 6, 2018

Earlier this week, Black Bear yearling #18-0222’s test results came back positive for ringworm. The team decided to treat the bear with a lime sulfur dip to treat the fungus, and on April 4, brought the bear into the hospital for sedation and a bath. The treatment was quick, and the bear recovered from anesthesia, but was generally quiet and not responsive. The bear was housed indoors overnight to ensure he was warm enough after the procedure. Sadly, on the morning of April 5, the staff found that the bear had died overnight.

April 2, 2018

Black Bear yearling #18-0222 is beginning to recover in the Center’s bear pens. The tiny yearling is eating well, and the rehabilitation staff are gradually increasing the amount of soft food available to the bear. This past weekend, the staff noted that the bear was stumbling when attempting to run, but it appears as though this is due to generalized weakness rather than a pronounced neurological issue.

The bear will be transitioned onto a regular bear diet during the next week.

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