Bear feeding at the Wildlife Center of Virginia on May 23, 2013.

Spring 2013 has not been kind to the black bears in Virginia. The Wildlife Center of Virginia has admitted 19 black bears for treatment—a record number. The center, located in Waynesboro, cares not only for black bears but for all native wildlife—birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians. During the cubs’ treatment you can join internet users from all over the world in watching the black bear cubs and other patients on the center’s live Critter Cam.  Two video cameras are trained on either eight bear cubs, a great horned owlet or Buddy the bald eagle.

According to the center’s website plans for releasing the bears are incomplete. Bear cubs usually spend 1 and ½ years with their mother, but are able to survive on their own once they are weaned. The center’s staff will work with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to choose the best time for freeing the bears into the wild. Until then enjoy their antics but beware: watching the bear cubs as they splash, romp and play in their enclosure can be addicting!

For more reading on the work of wildlife conservation and conservators try these titles from the JTCC libraries:

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