On May 26, a Black Bear was admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia. A homeowner in Rockingham County had seen the bear in a tree for two days; the citizen thought that the bear was a cub and called the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. A biologist responded to the scene and found that the bear was an injured yearling; he was able to dart and capture the bear.
Dr. Monica examined the female yearling at admission and found that the bear was quiet, alert, and very thin. The bear was anesthetized for a full exam. Dr. Monica found wounds on the bear’s face and back, and a broken incisor. Radiographs revealed a small fracture of the tip of the bear’s nasal bone, as well as changes to the lungs. Skin scrapings revealed mites; additional samples were taken for ringworm. The bear weighed 10 kg.
While the bear was under anesthesia, Dr. Monica placed an IV catheter to deliver continuous fluids during the bear’s treatment. She removed the remainder of the bear’s injured tooth, and carefully cleaned the infected wound on the bear’s back. There wasn’t enough skin present to suture the wound closed, so Dr. Monica applied a bandage over the area. The bear received antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, pain medication, and anti-parasitics.
The bear was placed in a Zinger crate in the Center’s holding room. The rehab team gave the bear electrolytes; the next day, the bear started a re-feeding protocol to slowly transition the bear’s digestive system to receiving food again. The bear was moved to the Center’s Bear Pen to give it a quieter space in which to recover. The team will monitor the bear closely, and will need to change the bear’s bandage on May 29.