Black Bear cub #20-1694

Admission Date: 
June 12, 2020
Location of Rescue: 
Rockbridge County, VA
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

On June 12, a male Black Bear cub was admitted from Rockbridge County. The bear had been seen wandering around a barn for several days with no sign of a sow; the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries was contacted and the decision was made to rescue the bear cub and bring him to the Wildlife Center. 

Dr. Ernesto, the Center's hospital director, examined the small cub when he arrived, and found that the bear was quiet and alert. The cub was dehydrated and thin, with an estimated body condition score of 1.5/5 (with 3/5 being a normal, healthy condition). The bear weighed 4.9 kg. No injuries were found, though the bear did have a heavy burden of ticks. Subcutaneous fluids were given and the bear was treated with an antiparasitic. An Orange Tag was placed in each of the bear's ears. 

The bear was placed in a Zinger crate in the Center's Bear Pen for the weekend, where the rehabilitation staff could offer a thickened formula and some soft veggies and fruits. Once most of the ticks fall off the bear, he'll be moved to the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure with the other cubs. Watch for him later this week on Critter Cam! 

Your donation will help provide care to this young Black Bear cub -- and to more than 3,000 wild patients in need that will be admitted in 2020. Thank you! 


January 14, 2021

Black Bear #20-1694 continues to heal in the Center's Large Mammal Isolation enclosure. Each day, the rehabilitation staff carefully check to ensure that the bear's rectal prolapse has not recurred and that the bear is able to defecate normally. At the end of last week, the bear finished a course of stool softeners; the team wants to ensure that everything remains normal for several days before they consider moving the bear back to the Bear Complex.

January 5, 2021

On January 4, Black Bear #20-1694 was sedated for an examination. The sutures that have been in place for the past 11 days were removed, and Dr. Cam notes that everything looks within normal limits. Another fecal sample was collected which was parasite-free. The veterinary team will keep the Black Bear in the Large Mammal enclosure for several more days to monitor and ensure that the rectal prolapse doesn't occur again. If all continues to go well, the bear will be moved back to the Black Bear Complex. 

December 29, 2020

Double Orange Tags has been recovering in the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure after his surgery on Christmas Eve. Each day, the staff check the bear to ensure his sutures are intact, and to monitor for any redness or swelling. The bear is receiving a course of stool thinners to help ease the passage of his meals as he continues to heal. A fecal examination over the weekend did not reveal any parasites. 

Since the bear was in-hand during darting and during his medical procedure, the veterinary team was able to weigh the bear cub; he weighed in at a hefty 30 kg! 

The team will continue to carefully monitor the bear's injury. If all heals well, the team expects the bear to be in the Large Mammal Isolation enclosure for the next seven to 10 days. 

December 24, 2020

After many hours staking out Double Orange Tags from the Black Bear Complex tower, Dr. Karra was able to dart and sedate the injured cub. The team confirmed that the bear did have a rectal prolapse, which was able to be cleaned and treated. The cub will live in the Center's Large Mammal Isolation enclosure during treatment for the next few weeks. 

December 24, 2020

On the morning of December 23, Critter Cam viewers noticed that one of the Black Bears, Double Orange Tags, had an issue with his hind end; the veterinary team closely scrutinized the bear on camera and decided to try to trap and dart the bear for an examination. It appeared as though the bear has a rectal prolapse; this issue is not common though the Center staff did see this issue in 2016 with two bear cubs. Typically, prolapses can occur from prolonged straining [constipation or diarrhea], parasites, or a congenital issue.

The bear was safely contained in yard #2 of the Black Bear Complex, and a live trap was set, baited with fried chicken. Unfortunately, the bear did not take the bait or come out of the tree during the day. Wildlife rehabilitator Kelsey disarmed the trap for the night.

The trap was reset on Christmas Eve morning, and Dr. Karra, the Center's interim veterinary director, came in to watch and wait for the cub in one of the towers in the Black Bear Complex. Dr. Karra is prepared to dart the cub if the live trap option doesn't work.  

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