Bear 'foster mom' will now raise cub saved by dog

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — An orphaned bear cub that was rescued by a pet dog and taken to the Wildlife Center of Virginia has a new home.

A wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries told news outlets that the dog’s owner called a wildlife rehabilitator on Feb. 5 after the pet turned up at their home with a cub in its mouth.

On Feb. 6, the cub was admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro for treatment.

Veterinarians examined the cub and determined it was mildly dehydrated but otherwise healthy.

After time in an incubator and round-the-clock bottle feeding by staff, they introduced the cub to a separate cub found in a brush pile in Craig County the week before.

The two cubs then spent a weekend in the same incubator.

Following that, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries found two active bear dens where they decided to attempt to foster the two cubs with mothers.

On Feb. 10, the female cub from Craig County was brought to a den for fostering, and on Feb. 12, the male cub was brought as well.

Biologists darted and sedated the mother of the bear den for the cub that had been rescued by a dog to fit her with a radio collar. They then placed the cub in the den and discovered that the bear already had three biological cubs – but now one more.

The two cubs that were incubated together were placed in separate active den sites because of their size and age difference.

Credit: Wildlife Center of Virginia