Cornell’s wildlife veterinarians mend black bear cub after car collision in the Adirondacks

During the height of vacation season in the Adirondacks, a black bear cub ventured onto a busy road – and met with one of the thousands of vehicles that traverse the park each summer. The collision broke the female cub’s leg.

James Cranker, an officer with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), together with DEC wildlife biologists and technicians, brought the bear to certified wildlife rehabilitator Jean Soprano. Soprano then transported the bear to Cornell.

“Summer is our busiest time of the year in the wildlife hospital, as more people are out on the road or in nature interacting with wildlife and the environment,” said Sara Childs-Sanford, D.V.M. ’99, chief of service at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center. “Many of our patients are hit by cars, and sustain significant and sometimes fatal trauma.”

The Cornell veterinarians assessed her injury and prepared her for surgery. Veterinary orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kei Hayashi and his team successfully mended the cub’s broken leg.

“Luckily, the bear cub’s injuries were fairly minor and the fracture was repairable,” said Childs-Sanford.

The bear was then transferred to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and will be released back into the wild when she is fully recovered and old enough to survive on her own. No information is known about the cub’s family.

The Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center offers advice on what to do if you find an injured animal. Learn more about the animal patients treated at the wildlife hospital and the work Cornell veterinarians do to heal them.

Written by Melanie Greaver Cordova

Photos and video by Darcy Rose Video