This critter is having a rough go of it. On Thursday, June 19, Heff Jardie made a Facebook post showing pictures of an exceptional case of mange. At first, it appeared that the photos were taken in Jefferson County, Missouri, near the town of Hematite, though 100.9 The Eagle later reported that the photos were likely taken elsewhere. Some online commentators say the creature looks like a “chupacabra” or a “werewolf,” but it’s almost certainly a black bear.

Posted by Heff Jardie on Thursday, June 29, 2023

Mange is a skin disease caused by parasitic mites. According to the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab, it is known to affect wild and domestic mammals. The nasty disease causes hair thinning and loss in animals, as well as other uncomfortable side effects. The affliction tends to impact already stressed or sick animals more than healthy ones.

Posted by Heff Jardie on Thursday, June 29, 2023

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In recent years, Field & Stream has reported on several outbreaks of mange in bears in Virginia. Wildlife managers were not able to find any explanations for the causes of those surges. Unfortunately, not much can be done when wild animals contract mange. A drug known as Ivermectin can be used to treat mange in captive animals but it is not typically used on free-ranging wildlife because of the need for several treatments weeks apart. Some animals, though, can resolve their cases of mange without additional treatment.