1 day ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

As Curator Janet reported last week, 1997 tested ABR. We’d only been open for a year, still known as the “Appalachian Bear Center”, and our facility bore little resemblance to what we see today. The Cub Nursery, The Cub House, The Red Roof Recovery Center, the storage units and two of our Wild Enclosures wouldn’t be built for another 18 years. Daryl Ratajczak, our first curator, lived at the facility with his family in what is now the ABR office. Very young cubs, in need of constant care, lived with him until they were able to eat solid food. Money was so tight, board members often dug into their own pockets for cash to fund the essentials of bear care. In those pre-internet, pre-Facebook days, just getting the word our that ABR existed was a formidable task. Though the facility has changed and our release procedures have evolved, our devotion to our mission has remained constant: to give orphaned and injured black bears a second chance at life in the wild.

1997 was a year of hard mast (acorn) failure and we took in twenty bears. In 1998, as often happens following a famine, we admitted only five bears: Jefferson, Loudon, Gatlin, Panther, and Metcalf. The reason for the decline from one year to the next is stark and brutal; by spring of 1998, only the lucky or the strong had survived the winter. The five we took in were yearlings who’d managed (somehow) to keep living. You can see from their admission weights most were near the end of their rope and needed help to get them to summer and a better soft mast (berry) supply.

Jefferson Bear (ABR #22) arrived on February 24, 1998. He was about 13 months old and weighed 25 pounds. Jefferson was found near a housing development and was exceptionally timid, even for a bear. His footpads showed some wear, indicating he might have been pacing on a hard surface. There was a strong suspicion Jefferson might have been held in captivity by a human and had been set free or escaped. He responded well to rehabilitation and was released back to the wild on May 20, 1998, weighing 62 pounds.

Loudon Bear (ABR #23) arrived on March 19, 1998. He was about 14 months old and weighed old only 12 pounds, the size of a young cub. He’d managed to survive the winter but was near death when brought to ABR. Loudon defied the odds and gained weight. He was released on May 19, 1998, weighing 34 pounds.

Gatlin Bear (ABR #24) arrived on April 7, 1998. He was about 14 months old and weighed 25 pounds, underweight, but otherwise in good health. Gatlin was scheduled to stay at ABR just long enough to gain a little more weight to see him through to summer. He was released on May 20, 1998, weighing 52 pounds.

Panther Bear (ABR #25) arrived on April 7, 1998. He was about 14 months old and weighed 25 pounds. Panther had been in a fight, possibly with a dog or another bear. He had scratches around his eyes but luckily, no damage to his vision. He recovered quickly and was released on May 19, 1998, weighing 61 pounds.

Metcalf Bear (ABR #26) arrived on June 5, 1998. He was about 16 months old and weighed 15 pounds. He suffered from abrasion wounds to his left lower jaw and was prescribed antibiotics. Metcalf recuperated and was released on July 31, 1998, weighing 53 pounds.

To many of us currently affiliated with ABR, the early days of our organization are as much a mystery as they are to you. Several years ago, Executive Director, Dana Dodd, initiated the “Preserving Our Past” project, a daunting effort to assemble boxes of slides, photos, negatives, reports and notes into a searchable online database. We’re indebted to Dana, Curator Emeritus Rick Noseworthy, former Curator Daryl Ratajczak, and members of the ABR board for their help in reconstructing ABR’s early years. We regret not having photos of all the bears we’ve helped, but thanks to this project, they will not be forgotten. ❤️🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻
salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/donate_page/donate?track=Website_Donate_Page_LinkAs Curator Janet reported last week, 1997 tested ABR. We’d only been open for a year, still known as the “Appalachian Bear Center”, and our facility bore little resemblance to what we see today. The Cub Nursery, The Cub House, The Red Roof Recovery Center, the storage units and two of our Wild Enclosures wouldn’t be built for another 18 years. Daryl Ratajczak, our first curator, lived at the facility with his family in what is now the ABR office. Very young cubs, in need of constant care, lived with him until they were able to eat solid food. Money was so tight, board members often dug into their own pockets for cash to fund the essentials of bear care. In those pre-internet, pre-Facebook days, just getting the word our that ABR existed was a formidable task. Though the facility has changed and our release procedures have evolved, our devotion to our mission has remained constant: to give orphaned and injured black bears a second chance at life in the wild. 1997 was a year of hard mast (acorn) failure and we took in twenty bears. In 1998, as often happens following a famine, we admitted only five bears: Jefferson, Loudon, Gatlin, Panther, and Metcalf. The reason for the decline from one year to the next is stark and brutal; by spring of 1998, only the lucky or the strong had survived the winter. The five we took in were yearlings who’d managed (somehow) to keep living. You can see from their admission weights most were near the end of their rope and needed help to get them to summer and a better soft mast (berry) supply. Jefferson Bear (ABR #22) arrived on February 24, 1998. He was about 13 months old and weighed 25 pounds. Jefferson was found near a housing development and was exceptionally timid, even for a bear. His footpads showed some wear, indicating he might have been pacing on a hard surface. There was a strong suspicion Jefferson might have been held in captivity by a human and had been set free or escaped. He responded well to rehabilitation and was released back to the wild on May 20, 1998, weighing 62 pounds. Loudon Bear (ABR #23) arrived on March 19, 1998. He was about 14 months old and weighed old only 12 pounds, the size of a young cub. He’d managed to survive the winter but was near death when brought to ABR. Loudon defied the odds and gained weight. He was released on May 19, 1998, weighing 34 pounds. Gatlin Bear (ABR #24) arrived on April 7, 1998. He was about 14 months old and weighed 25 pounds, underweight, but otherwise in good health. Gatlin was scheduled to stay at ABR just long enough to gain a little more weight to see him through to summer. He was released on May 20, 1998, weighing 52 pounds. Panther Bear (ABR #25) arrived on April 7, 1998. He was about 14 months old and weighed 25 pounds. Panther had been in a fight, possibly with a dog or another bear. He had scratches around his eyes but luckily, no damage to his vision. He recovered quickly and was released on May 19, 1998, weighing 61 pounds. Metcalf Bear (ABR #26) arrived on June 5, 1998. He was about 16 months old and weighed 15 pounds. He suffered from abrasion wounds to his left lower jaw and was prescribed antibiotics. Metcalf recuperated and was released on July 31, 1998, weighing 53 pounds. To many of us currently affiliated with ABR, the early days of our organization are as much a mystery as they are to you. Several years ago, Executive Director, Dana Dodd, initiated the “Preserving Our Past” project, a daunting effort to assemble boxes of slides, photos, negatives, reports and notes into a searchable online database. We’re indebted to Dana, Curator Emeritus Rick Noseworthy, former Curator Daryl Ratajczak, and members of the ABR board for their help in reconstructing ABR’s early years. We regret not having photos of all the bears we’ve helped, but thanks to this project, they will not be forgotten. ❤️🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻 https://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/donate_page/donate?track=Website_Donate_Page_Link
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The perseverance toward your goals from the very early days is awe inspiring. To see where you were and where you are currently speaks to the love and devotion that exists for the bears. Amidst the negativity and violence in the news every day, the daily update from ABR is a respite with kindness, joint effort toward a common goal, and concern for our wild kin ( and one another). Yes, you care for the bears, but you have cared for me as well, brightening my heart with your deeds, your words and your pictures. Thank you, ABR.

Thanks for letting us see how procedures have changed and improved through the years. You guys are great.You teach us, but the BEARS have taught everyone.

Thank you ABR! I've followed you since I moved back to Knoxville in 1994. You have evolved and grown all these years and have helped so many bears - many who would not have survived without your help. Thanks to all those at ABR and all who help ABR in taking care of a precious resource.

🐾🖤🐾 ABR Memory Lane ~ Mission of Love

Metcalf and Panther really fattened up fast!! Amazing how different the facility is!

After reconstructing your past times, would you consider publishing in a book? It may be one way to raise some money. I so enjoy reading the work you do.

Thank You.

Wow, release days are sure different now! The protocol now is probably easier on bears and people. Thanks for all you do!

One thing I notice is back then the bears were released at a much lower weight than they are now. Is there a reason? Frankly I love seeing the little bears chubbify and go back to the woods with extra pounds. Just curious about this.

Thank you ABR for sharing about these 5 past residents of ABR, just love hearing about the past residents, also about the beginning of ABR, how its grown since then, into what it is Today! Everyone at ABR is just soo amazing, all the dedication, commitment, perserverence to make ABR what is today, all the Cubbies that you've helped since!🙂🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾💛💚💖💙💛

Thank you so much for these stories about your early years.

They had tracking collars when released. Any updates on how they fared when released?

If not for you so many cubs would have died ,but now they have a great chance of survival because of your dedicated commitment to helping them 💞

You guys are fantastic!

Love the photos and the history of ABR. Thank you for all you do🐻🐻❤❤

I love these ABR history lessons! It would also be interesting to know some of the reasons that changes in protocol and procedure were made.

These pictures are incredibly amazing ! and your dedication to these cubs is so inspiring in so many ways. You are loved and admired by many in many places. Thank You for the education and for letting us share in the cubs lives 🖤❣

The best thing to happen to those young bears was being taken to your facility. Thank you to each and every one who had a hand in helping give the bears their second chance at life in the wild.

❤ & life 4 the bears has never changed.....Great work ABR...❤❤U GUYS

Thank you all for what you have done and what you continue to do for ABR. The cubbies are lucky to have you. <3

Awesome lil fellow cute face

I love them all.❤️🐾🐾

I’ve noticed from your records that cubs didn’t stay as long and were released weighing less than today’s bears. Why?

❤️🖤💙💛💗

Thank you ABR

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2 days ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

We’re making improvements to our fencing to discourage Visitor Bears from becoming Intruder Bears. ABR is in “Bear Country” so we expect to see bears wandering through the facility. What we don’t want is having them break into the Wild Enclosures or the ABR buildings, putting resident cubs, curators and themselves at risk. Our Technical Advisor, Kim Delozier, recommended we move the electric wire to the top of the fence, a cost-effective deterrent to unauthorized check-ins. Drilling holes in the supports and feeding the electric wire through them is akin to threading a needle. Curator Coy has many talents, but we didn’t think sewing was one of them. He has one section done; a few dozen more to go!
We’re featuring a beautiful bread basket by Tim Weberding Woodworking that makes a perfect Valentine’s Day Gift. For the pup in your life, we have Dog Treats from Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery, recently awarded “two-paws-up” by Special Assistant Curators, Jake and Lucy Dog. Click on the link below.
salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/t/19338/shop/shop.jsp?storefront_KEY=334We’re making improvements to our fencing to discourage Visitor Bears from becoming Intruder Bears. ABR is in “Bear Country” so we expect to see bears wandering through the facility. What we don’t want is having them break into the Wild Enclosures or the ABR buildings, putting resident cubs, curators and themselves at risk. Our Technical Advisor, Kim Delozier, recommended we move the electric wire to the top of the fence, a cost-effective deterrent to unauthorized check-ins. Drilling holes in the supports and feeding the electric wire through them is akin to threading a needle. Curator Coy has many talents, but we didn’t think sewing was one of them. He has one section done; a few dozen more to go! We’re featuring a beautiful bread basket by Tim Weberding Woodworking that makes a perfect Valentine’s Day Gift. For the pup in your life, we have Dog Treats from Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery, recently awarded “two-paws-up” by Special Assistant Curators, Jake and Lucy Dog. Click on the link below. https://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/t/19338/shop/shop.jsp?storefront_KEY=334
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If already asked, forgive me, but are you battening down the hatches for tomorrow’s weather? I understand the Smokies are supposed to get high winds and tons of rain/snow starting tomorrow afternoon. Had thought about driving over from Bristol but have a hole in our house where a car tried to make a tunnel.

You know you are doing something right when they are breaking in! Keep up the good work for all those bears.

“Escorted off the premises”. Dying over here. 😂

The visitors probably heard how good you care for cubs that they wanted some of that TLC.

Love the visitor bear pics

I didn't realize you had had so much trouble with outsider bears to your buildings. Hope this helps. Plus just because none have hurt any of our cubs, there is always the first time.

Curator Coy you are so smart and a real cool dude. You are doing a marvelous job for all the bears. Thank you for all your hard work.

I am laughing so much, you are the best!

"mending" (sewing holes up, buttons etc.) is a good talent to have. trust i would give anything to have a needle hole that big to thread, thread through lol . 🤓🧵

Glad to see you're keeping Curator Coy productively employed and off the streets!

❤ 2 👀 men at work....looking good Curator Cory...fine job

A labor of love for sure! 🤗

Thanks for all you do!

Never a dull moment at ABR!!

You go Coy, stop in and see us sometime.

Seems like your work is never done! Thank you for all you do🐻🐻❤❤

Thank you for all the hard work 🙏♥️🐻

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3 days ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

Bears are the reason ABR exists and they govern every moment of our day… even when they aren’t here. We’re keeping an eye on the calendar, knowing a new generation of black bears is being born and we must be ready to help should our services be required. This adds some urgency to our work. Along with routine facility maintenance, we’re preparing for the construction of new cub houses, so the facility is abuzz with the sound of chainsaws.
Pree’s Trees stopped by to donate their expertise in taking down a few problem trees: one stood in the way of the new cub house, the other posed a danger should we get another windstorm, and still another was dead and had to be removed. We don’t like cutting down trees, but there was no alternative. Some of the wood was carted off to a mill to make planks, but most of it was scattered through the property to provide food and habitat for the many small animals and birds who live at the facility. Some logs will provide future cub residents with tasty insects and larvae.
Meanwhile, Curator Coy was busy demolishing the old Cement Pond. It once functioned as a Cubby Pool, but is now irreparable The plastic Cubby Pool, so beloved by Bumble B. Bear, is more practical. Leaving the Cement Pond in place might be dangerous to future residents, so out it came, one bit at a time. Later, the bits were recycled into drainage gravel for the security corridors in between the enclosure and the Perimeter Fence.

Little by little, bit by bit, we’re getting there! Thank you for making this possible. ❤️

Please browse through our ABR online store. We’re featuring a beautiful new bread basket by Tim Weberding Woodworking that makes a perfect Valentine’s Day Gift. For the barky set, we have Dog Treats from Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery, recently awarded “two-paws-up” by Special Assistant Curators, Jake and Lucy Dog. Click on the link below.
salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/t/19338/shop/shop.jsp?storefront_KEY=334Bears are the reason ABR exists and they govern every moment of our day… even when they aren’t here. We’re keeping an eye on the calendar, knowing a new generation of black bears is being born and we must be ready to help should our services be required. This adds some urgency to our work. Along with routine facility maintenance, we’re preparing for the construction of new cub houses, so the facility is abuzz with the sound of chainsaws. Pree’s Trees stopped by to donate their expertise in taking down a few problem trees: one stood in the way of the new cub house, the other posed a danger should we get another windstorm, and still another was dead and had to be removed. We don’t like cutting down trees, but there was no alternative. Some of the wood was carted off to a mill to make planks, but most of it was scattered through the property to provide food and habitat for the many small animals and birds who live at the facility. Some logs will provide future cub residents with tasty insects and larvae. Meanwhile, Curator Coy was busy demolishing the old Cement Pond. It once functioned as a Cubby Pool, but is now irreparable The plastic Cubby Pool, so beloved by Bumble B. Bear, is more practical. Leaving the Cement Pond in place might be dangerous to future residents, so out it came, one bit at a time. Later, the bits were recycled into drainage gravel for the security corridors in between the enclosure and the Perimeter Fence. Little by little, bit by bit, we’re getting there! Thank you for making this possible. ❤️ Please browse through our ABR online store. We’re featuring a beautiful new bread basket by Tim Weberding Woodworking that makes a perfect Valentine’s Day Gift. For the barky set, we have Dog Treats from Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery, recently awarded “two-paws-up” by Special Assistant Curators, Jake and Lucy Dog. Click on the link below. https://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/t/19338/shop/shop.jsp?storefront_KEY=334
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Thank you, Pree's Trees, for donating your time and expertise, we truly appreciate your wonderful gift.

I love the fact that you recycle as much of your resources not only helping the bears but the environment also. You guys and gals are outstanding!! Also thank you to Pree’s Trees for donating their time to make ABR safer for everyone involved, whether human or animal.

Thank you Pree's Trees for donating your services and hard work!

Y’all are the hardest working group I have ever seen. Thanks to all!!

So excited to be moving back to TN and ready to come check out some of your events this year!! Our grizzly and black bears bears are finally denning here in NW Montana! We’re getting snow today! It’s been a light snow year!

That is a lot of work! Under an unknown deadline. Such pressure

Cement Pond -- shades of Beverly Hillbillies!

Love how you guys recycle!!!

Whew....thank you ABR for your hard work and dedication

Thank you

My y’all some busy lil bees 🐝 working hard

The curators and Volunteers work harder at least physically when there are no bears in residence. Although I am always sad when you get cubs I also love my daily injection of ABR. Hope Janet is going to do her live broadcasts again this year. xx

Any chance that pool could be officially named Bumble B's Pool? ;-)

Love how you find purposes for downed trees and the cement pond! A big thanks to Prees Trees for their big donation of equipment and labor! What a special business! Hope all of the work is done and ready when a bear needs your help. Y’all are the best! ❤️🐻

Love to all wo help the bear cubs!!

Never a dull moment!

Amazing how fast you guys are getting stuff done. Thank you for all your hard work. Can't wait to see the new cub houses.

With all the work being done at ABR right now in preparation for the new arrivals what would happen should a cub need help right now? How would you accommodate it?

Thank you to everyone for your hard work and dedication!!❤❤

Glad you can recycle or repurpose material.

THANK YOU PREES TREES !!!!!!

Looking 👍

Busy, busy!! Doing a great job as always!

Lots of hard work! Hope you get all finished in case you get a resident....Hope not tho for everyone's sakes,

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3 days ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

Tim Weberding Woodworking created beautiful ABR Valentine Baskets for us using one of our favorite pictures - Cherry Bear and Ruff Bear on a tree limb. 🐻🐻
These baskets are handmade and perfect to use as bread baskets. If you're New Year's resolution is to stop procrastinating this year, we are here to help! Get your Valentine's Day gifts now! While supplies last.
salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/t/19338/shop/item.jsp?storefront_KEY=334&t=&store_item_KEY=2317
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Tim Weberding Woodworking created beautiful ABR Valentine Baskets for us using one of our favorite pictures - Cherry Bear and Ruff Bear on a tree limb. 🐻🐻
These baskets are handmade and perfect to use as bread baskets. If youre New Years resolution is to stop procrastinating this year, we are here to help! Get your Valentines Day gifts now! While supplies last.
https://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/t/19338/shop/item.jsp?storefront_KEY=334&t=&store_item_KEY=2317Image attachmentImage attachment

 

Comment on Facebook

So beautiful. A gift of self love for the single chick! ;) ❤️

ABR are these available at Trillium Cove ABR Center?

Love these!

I love Tim Weberding's baskets!

🐾🖤🐾 Beary Beautiful

Where can I get more coffee?

Love this

They are beautiful!

Beautiful!

Wow what a talented artist!

Beautiful!

WOWZER!

Very nicely done!

Jeffrey Arney

They are gorgeous!!

Beautiful. Tim is obviously very talented.

Sharing Public ABR!😍🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻💛💖💚💙💜💛

Dana PekarchickDawn Pekarchick

Those are beautiful!

Beautiful...

Beautiful

Beautiful!

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3 days ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

Need a Valentine's present for your furry friends? We got you covered! Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery created adorable dog peanut butter hearts and bear shaped dog biscuits. Curator Janet's dogs, Jake and Lucy, tested the treats and give them two paws up! We also have plenty of options for your human Valentine. We will have some Valentine's specials coming soon, in the meantime, check out our new earrings and bear necklace.
Thank you for your support!

salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51586/t/19338/shop/shop.jsp?storefront_KEY=334
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Comment on Facebook

Do you still have a Christmas 2018 ornament I can buy?

I really liked the coffee I got at Christmas, tried messaging artistic bean but no reply. I would love to buy more.

Wow!!!! 🐶❤️🐻

Maida Leo

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