On June 2, a Black Bear cub was seen alone in a tree in Bedford County. After no sign of a sow was observed in the area for three days, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources biologists determined the cub had been orphaned, and transported it to the Wildlife Center of Virginia on the evening of June 5.
On admission, the male cub was bright, alert, and actively showing appropriate defensive behaviors within the crate. Upon intake, he was slightly thin and dehydrated, weighing 5.95 kg with a body condition score of 2/5. A physical examination performed by Veterinary Intern Dr. Olivia revealed a heavy tick burden and scabbing on the cub’s skin associated with tick bites, but no major injuries were found. Following a series of radiographs that did not show any skeletal injuries or internal abnormalities, blood and fecal samples were taken for later testing. Based on his overall condition and circumstance of rescue, it’s likely that this cub was orphaned and could not find sufficient resources on his own.
Veterinary staff administered fluids and anti-parasitic medication and placed a temporary identification tag on each of the cub’s ears. This bear will be known as “Double Orange” during treatment and rehabilitation at the Center.
On June 5, Double Orange was placed in a large Zinger crate situated in the LMI enclosure chute. That night, the young bear broke out of the crate and retreated into the ceiling of the enclosure – a secure space, but difficult for staff to access. In an effort to safely retrieve Double Orange while keeping his levels of stress as low as possible, a small hole was cut into the ceiling and a live trap was placed in the enclosure. After two days, the cub was successfully captured and safely returned to the enclosure chute without incident or injury. Once the cub’s tick burden is resolved, he will be gradually introduced to the other Black Bear Cubs of 2023 during supervised interactions.