Black Bear #19-3305

Admission Date: 
December 19, 2019
Location of Rescue: 
Augusta County, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Thin, mites
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On December 16, a young Black Bear cub was reported to have approached a hunter in the woods in Augusta County, Virginia. There was no sow seen in the area, and the bear was picked up and given to a private citizen where it was kept in a house for three days. The bear was transported to the Wildlife Center and admitted on December 19. 

Dr. Karra, the Center’s veterinary intern, examined the small female cub when she arrived. The bear was very thin and dehydrated, weighing only 7.8 kg with a body condition score of 2/5. No injuries were found, but a physical exam revealed mild flaking of the skin with some crusts and mats in the fur. A skin scrape revealed ursicoptes mites, and a fecal analysis confirmed that the bear had a high number of internal parasites. 

An anti-parasitic medication was given, along with fluids, and Dr. Karra placed a pink identification tag in the bear's right ear. The bear was placed in a zinger crate in the Center’s indoor ICU for the night and was moved to an outdoor Bear Pen on December 20. 

At this point, the cub is much too small to be placed in one of the Center's large outdoor Bear Yards. The veterinary staff will closely monitor the bear's nutrition and treatment for parasites during the coming months.

Your donation will help provide veterinary medical care for this juvenile Black Bear -- and more than 3,000 other patients that the Center will treat in 2019. Thank you!


January 20, 2020

On Saturday, January 18, the veterinary team anesthetized Black Bear #19-3305 for a follow-up physical examination, blood work, and skin scrapes.

Dr. Karra, the Center’s senior veterinary intern, found that the bear was in excellent body condition, with a body condition score of 3/5 [a score of 1/5 is very thin, and a score of 5/5 is very overweight].  The bear weighed 15 kg, which is more than double than her admission weight [7.3 kg]. A complete blood count was within normal limits and indicated that the bear’s anemia had resolved. The skin scrapes were negative for mites.

The bear was moved to Bear Pen 2, so that she can get to know her neighbor, Black Bear #19-3292, in Bear Pen 3.

While the bear has gained weight and has met the weight requirement [10 kg] for moving to the Black Bear Complex overall, Dr. Karra noted that the bear was still quite small in stature. Additional blood work was sent out on Monday, January 20, to check for any additional health issues that may explain the bear’s small stature, though it also may just be due to being undernourished for a period of time this fall.

Both bears in the Center’s Bear Pens received their  “birthday cakes” on Saturday after the procedure.


Black Bear #19-3292 and cake!

January 2, 2020

Both juvenile Black Bears admitted in late December 2019 are doing well. While the two bears are not housed together, they are both in the Center’s Bear Pens; Black Bear #19-3305 [now Pink Tag] is in Bear Pen 1, and Black Bear #19-3292 [now Green Tag] is in Bear Pen 3. Both will be housed in their respective locations until they are entirely free from their mange mites.

Pink Tag is currently eating about six pounds of food each day; if she continues to eat well, her amount will increase. Green Tag is currently eating eight pounds of food each day. By comparison, the two healthy bears in the Bear Complex are receiving a shared meal of 16 pounds a day, though are fasted on Sundays.

Both bears will be sedated during the week of January 16 for a second skin scraping to check for the presence of mites.