Emaciation Nearly Kills An American Black Bear Cub

young black bear eating in penThe following story was shared with us by the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation in Alberta, Canada.

This 10-month old black bear cub was admitted to the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation on December 4, 2019. The cub had been spotted alone and wandering for a few days before capture.

Upon admitting, the cub was found to be a mere 9.32 kilograms (about 20.5 pounds) and severely emaciated. He was extremely anemic, and his dehydration was so severe he was ataxic (lack of coordination and inability to control voluntary muscle movements). The cub was administered several treatments of subcutaneous fluids, and iron dextran for the anemia.

Once hydrated, the cub was much more active, and food was introduced in small amounts several times a day. He was offered EmerAid Intensive Care Omnivore three times a day with a fruit smoothie to get his gut working again. After a few days of slow reintroduction to food, the cub responded well. The team was able to start offering larger pieces of food items as he slowly gained his strength back.

The cub was able to be moved outside within a week of admitting, and continues to thrive in care. He has put on a healthy amount of weight, and is estimated to weigh approximately 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds). We are hopeful for his successful release by May 2020.