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Tiny orphaned black bear cub doing well at Wildlife Center of Virginia

Weighed just three pounds when brought to SWVA Widlife Center in Roanoke

Bear cub - Wildlife Center of Virginia
Bear cub - Wildlife Center of Virginia (Wildlife Center of Virginia)

Roanoke – A tiny bear cub that was rescued from Buchanan County is in good health and doing well at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Weighing just over three pounds, she was first brought to rehabbers at the southwest Virginia wildlife center in Roanoke. Executive Director Sabrina Garvin says they were told it was found crying in someone's yard.

Since then, it's been moved to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro where it's one of eight cubs being cared for right now. The cub is known there as #20-0384.

The public can watch this cub — and the other seven cubs — live on the Center’s Critter Cam.

The seven bear cubs are now housed in an outdoor enclosure. For now, #20-0384 is living in a Zinger crate, the tall metal "box" on the left side of the critter cam-feed. The seven other cubs, who are older and larger, have the run of the 16-square foot pen. They also have access to an outdoor area.

Amanda Nicholson with the Wildlife Center of Virginia says once #20-0384 gains more weight, she will be free to run with the older cubs.

“The little black bear from Buchanan is doing well. She is our tiniest black bear cub of the bunch. She is growing just fine, putting on weight, but compared to the other ones that are probably a little bit older than her, she looks like she is just the tiniest little nugget of the bunch,” Nicholson said.

The cubs are fed three times a day, said Randy Huwa with the Wildlife Center of Virginia. “For now, #20-0384 is being bottle-fed; her larger “siblings” are getting some bear formula out of a bottle, but are increasing eating out of “mush bowls” - bowls of soft veggies, fruits, and dog food covered in a thickened bear formula,” Huwa said.

Bear cub - Wildlife Center of Virginia
Bear cub - Wildlife Center of Virginia (Wildlife Center of Virginia)

At some point later this year, these cubs will be moved to an outdoor bear yard -- a half-acre area of grasses, shrubs, brush, and trees. These cubs will be with us for about one year -- they won’t be ready to be released back into the wild until April 2021.

Read more of her story here.


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