On Sunday, May 29, an injured male Black Bear cub was admitted to the Wildlife Center from Nelson County after it has been spotted in the road for two days. The Center's veterinary team examined the small cub and found that he had a humeral fracture of his right front leg. Blood work revealed that the bear was also slightly anemic, likely due to blood loss due to the traumatic injury. No other injuries were found.
Dr. Emily, one of the Center's veterinary interns, placed a splint on the bear cub's broken leg, and treated him with fluids, anti-inflammatory medication, and pain medication. The bear weighed 2.81 kg. The cub was placed in a Zinger crate and was moved to the vestibule of the Center's Large Mammal Isolation enclosure. While the little bear is much too debilitated to directly interact with the three other cubs at the Center, the staff thought that seeing and hearing the other cubs would be beneficial for this young cub. He was able to briefly meet one of the other cubs while his enclosure after feeding while his enclosure was cleaned.
Dr. Karra, the Center's veterinary director, reached out to the Virginia Veterinary Specialists (VVS) in Charlottesville to see if an orthopedic surgeon would be able to assist with this fracture repair. Given the nature of the fracture and the bear's young age and rapidly growing bones, the bear cub will greatly benefit from a specialist in fracture repair technique and equipment. Fortunately, the orthopedic surgeon at VVS happily agreed to help with the surgery and will donate his time on his day off to repair the fracture on Thursday, June 2. VVS will only charge the Center for materials used.
Until the scheduled surgery, the bear cub is eating specialized bear formula three times a day from a bottle and mush bowl.