Tennessee Officials Succeed in Getting Bear To Adopt Orphaned Cub

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

You might not find a happier story out in the wilderness than this one right here. This week, Tennessee officials succeeded in getting a bear to adopt another orphaned cub. Indeed, the orphaned cub found itself in that situation after its mother was struck and killed by a car. The cub was incredibly distraught over the matter and cried out for help. Thankfully, a passerby heard the cries and alerted the ABR and TWRA who assisted in finding and helping the cub.

Bear Cub Adoption Gone Right in Tennessee

In a new Facebook post, the TWRA wrote, “NOW THERE’S A HAPPY ENDING! Remember the sow and bear cubs in the Cherokee National Forests post from last week? She has a third #bearcub. Another sow was killed by a car in Cocke County. A passerby heard a bear cub crying and contacted Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) and TWRA placed this orphaned cub with the sow in U.S. Forest Service – Cherokee National Forest. ” Thankfully the momma bear that had two cubs of her own accepted the orphaned cub.

The post continued, “She had fostered cubs before, and the orphaned cub was similar in size to her cubs. The cub was placed in the entrance to her den. She reached out with a paw and pulled the new cub to her.” Funny enough, the momma bear who took in the orphaned cub had done so previously, as well. To be as careful as possible, the TWRA placed the cub just in front of the den. It could have gone differently. It did not. Instead, she welcomed the orphaned cub who lost their mom.

Sow Killed In Cocke County

The two events were linked and timing was everything. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end. In an earlier post, the organization wrote, “Region 3’s S. Cherokee Manager Mitch Clure and Tech Steve Massengill recently assisted the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service – Cherokee National Forest safely immobilize a female black bear to remove a radio collar that had a dead battery. The bear was in a den with two cubs. While the collar was being removed, Clure and Massengill held the approx. six-week-old bear cubs while biologists collected information & placed pit tags. It won’t be long and bears will be on the move.”

The agency helped that bear earlier. While the agency assisted the momma bear, they held the six-week-old cubs tight and ensured their safety while they worked on her radio collar that unfortunately had a dead battery. Still, it all worked out in the end for all the parties involved.