Bear Cub Hit by Car at Great Smoky Mountains, Rushed to Care Facility

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by: Ron Reznick/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A bear cub is recuperating after being struck by a car inside Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The collision was reported on October 2nd. Two park rangers arrived on the scene and found an 8-month-old female cub lying in the road but still breathing. According to a Facebook post, the rangers clapped their hands to see if she was alert, and that led her to stand up, limp to the side of the road, and climb a tree.

A third ranger, Greg Greico, arrived shortly after and spotted the bear cub’s mother and two siblings watching from the other side of the road. Because the injured cub was not being vocal with her mother, he decided to dart her and take her to the Appalachian Bear Rescue.

This morning, the rescue gave an update on the bear cub, who it dubbed Myrtle. And thankfully, she’s doing well.

Specialists have been observing her round the clock, and they’re noting all of her movements and vitals. And she seems to be recovering quickly.

“Her mobility seems good: she can walk in a straight line, not staggering, and not in circles,” it wrote. “Her head seems to be in control of her body. She can direct her feet to where her noggin wants them to go (i.e to the food bowls). Her scat and urine don’t contain blood, and she seems to have no trouble eliminating either.”

The Bear Cub Will Eventually Move to an Enclosure with Four Other Rescued Cubs

However, while Myrtle was initially interested in food, she wasn’t actually eating it. So workers had to coax her into taking a few bites.

Because vets mix the bear cub’s necessary meds in her food, workers must see her eat and note the times. So they placed various types of food, including honey, applesauce, berry sauce, and yogurt, to see what she’d eat. She eventually chose the yogurt and honey. And since downing her first meal, they’ve had no trouble giving her dosages.

In another update, the rescue noted that it’s “impressed” with the bear cub’s progress. But curators are hesitant to trust that she’s on the rebound.

“They’ve seen injured bears seem to rally only to crash the next day,” it wrote.

Vets will keep Myrtle confined for a few more days to asses her true condition. They’ll eventually move her to a new enclosure with “four little hooligan cubs she’s never met.” But first, they have to be sure that she can physically handle life in the “wild enclosure.”