On the evening of April 8, the first Black Bear cub of 2023 was admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia. After the lone cub had been observed for several days near a river in Bristol, Virginia with no sign of a sow in the area, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources biologist rescued the cub and transported it to the Center.
The following morning, veterinary staff examined the female cub and noted that she was very vocal and active. A physical exam revealed the cub was thin and mildly dehydrated, with a body condition score of 2/5. Upon intake, she weighed 2.2 kg. The cub is missing her right ear, which the veterinary team believe is related to an old injury due to scar tissue present along the remaining edges.
Skin scrapes and radiographs were within normal limits, and blood was drawn for a full analysis. Based on the cub’s physical condition and circumstance of rescue, it’s likely that she was orphaned and unable to find sufficient resources on her own.
After administering fluids to treat her dehydration, the cub was placed in a Zinger crate within a secluded indoor enclosure. Rehabilitation staff report that she’s very enthusiastic during bottle-feeding, and plan to bottle-feed her three times per day in addition to offering her a “mush bowl” twice per day.
The day following her admission, the cub was quickly joined by the second Black Bear cub of the year – the two are housed beside one another but don’t yet have direct access.