Home Wildlife Center of Virginia, Charlottesville surgeon partner to save bear cub

Wildlife Center of Virginia, Charlottesville surgeon partner to save bear cub

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Photo courtesy Wildlife Center of Virginia.

A bear cub found in a roadway in Nelson County last week was found to have a humeral fracture of his right front leg. Dr. Karra Peirce, the veterinary director at the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, knew just who to call.

Dr. Kevin Stiffler, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Virginia Veterinary Specialists in Charlottesville, has helped patients at the Wildlife Center in the past – included on his resume is a complicated fracture repair on a bobcat and another fracture repair on a black bear cub.

Stiffler donated his time to repair on a day off to perform the surgery on Thursday.

The bear cub’s procedure went well, as Dr. Stiffler and the VVS team were able to successfully repair the fractured bone during surgery that lasted several hours.

bear cub 2
Photo courtesy Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Veterinary staff reported that the six-pound cub recovered from anesthesia without incident, and was transported back to the Wildlife Center for extended care that same afternoon.

Virginia Veterinary Specialists only charged the center for materials used – a representation of how collaboration and community-involvement are vital pillars of successful wildlife rehabilitation.

“I am so grateful for organizations and veterinarians that are willing to help us care for our wild patients when advanced and specialized procedures are required,” Dr. Karra said. “We were so impressed by the skills and professionalism by all the staff at VVS, and are so lucky to be surrounded by such a supportive community of veterinarians and veterinary staff.”

The bear will be cage-rested in a Zinger crate for now. In about two weeks, Wildlife Center staff will take radiographs to check on the healing progress of the bone.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia invites the public to visit their “Critter Corner” page to read about this cub’s story, learn about the animals that are currently being treated at the non-profit hospital, watch live-streaming video feeds of patient bear cubs, and find educational resources on how to help wildlife.



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