The Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus; ABB) is a globally endangered species for which a restoration program has been ongoing in South Korea since 2001. However, there is little information on immobilization protocols for ABBs. We evaluated the use of medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine for their immobilization. During 2005–13, we anesthetized 60 ABBs (32 males, 28 females; 7 mo to 12 yr old) with medetomidine 0.03–0.045 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine 1.54–2.3 mg/kg; reversal of anesthesia was done with atipamezole 0.15–0.225 mg/kg administered intravenously alone or intravenously and intramuscularly (50:50). Mean (and SD) for physiologic collected for 373 immobilizations of at least 60 min were: time to sedation, 7.8 (5.4) min; anesthesia induction time, 13.7 (8.1) min; complete recovery time, 14.8 (12.4) min; respiratory rate, 14 (7) breaths/min; heart rate, 51 (16) beats/min; rectal temperature, 37.3 (1.3) C; and hemoglobin oxygen saturation, 88% (6%). Few cardiopulmonary side effects occurred during immobilization and adequate depth of anesthesia was maintained for >60 min without need for supplementation. The dosage and drug combination used was effective for immobilization of ABBs with minimal adverse effects on vital signs and can be recommended in most clinical applications.
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Vol. 53 • No. 3