Black Bear cub #18-2926 update

On Friday, November 30, Black Bear cub #18-2926 was anesthetized for radiographs to check on the healing progress of the bear’s fractured elbow. The cub has not been walking properly on his front limb, and based on observation, appeared to have a limited range of motion.

When the cub was fully sedated, Dr. Ernesto was able to see that the intramedullary (IM) pin that was initially inserted into the bear’s fractured bone had migrated – which sometimes happens after surgery. Dr. Ernesto estimated that the bear’s right elbow had about 85% extension and limited rotation. Radiographs confirmed that the fractured joint had not healed in an ideal position. Dr. Ernesto removed the IM pin and tagged the bear for identification – a pink tag in the right ear, and an orange in the left.

The bear recovered from anesthesia and was placed in the Large Mammal enclosure with Black Bear cub #18-2921 – the cub that has been recovering from a jaw fracture.

Dr. Ernesto reached out to Dr. Padron, who surgically repaired the bear in October. Dr. Padron recommended allowing the bear to walk around in the larger space in the Large Mammal enclosure for the next week, and to carefully observe if the bear’s gait and range of motion improve at all. If no, Dr. Padron recommends removing the screw at the bear’s surgical site. If Dr. Ernesto needs to go to surgery to remove the screw, the bear will once again need to be placed on cage rest for four weeks.

So far, the two cubs are wary of one another but are getting along.