Daily Bear Updates

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17 hours ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

Current weather: 40F (4C)- Rain

As you know, our relationship with “The Arrows: We’ll point YOU in the Right Direction ™ ”, has been fraught with misunderstanding (theirs) and contractual disputes (theirs). Last night, our security cameras caught them doing a midnight runner from the ABR office, aided by an unsuspecting Uber driver. Where The Arrows went is a mystery. When they’ll return had better be soon or it’s back to court we go! The 24-Hour Temp Agency supplied us with the only clients available at short notice: The Cherry Pie Troupe, performance artists between gigs. We hope The Arrows return: The Cherry Pie Troupe won’t work in rain and are afraid of squirrels.

Beignet, Boudreaux, and Jessamine still sleep for most of the day. They’re choosing to rest on separate daybeds but inevitably return to Beignet’s place for a group sleep-over at night. They forage, play and climb in between naps and seem content…and wet.

When we look for Balthazar, we start with his daybed at the base of a tree, the same one he’s favored since his first days in the Wild Enclosure. All bears are individuals and King B seems less adventurous than our other yearlings. He explores a little every day, using the resting platforms as a road and a napping station, but returns to the place he feels most secure.

Thank you for helping us help then return to the wild. ❤️🐻🐻🐻🐻(Arrows, please call home! ↑📞)


*We post one update daily, seven days a week.
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The arrows walked out!!! Possibly on strike. Possibly out for a joy ride. I suspect when they get wind of the Cherry Pie Troupe jealousy will ensue and they will return. 😁 Anywho, the bears are adorable and would probably enjoy some Cherry Pie with their coffee for breakfast. 🐻🐻🐻🐻

I needed a good laugh today and I definitely got one from this post! So glad to see that everyone is doing well during the strike! Have a great day! 🐻❤️🐻💗🐻💗🐻❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Ben...you are outdoing yourself. I can't stop giggling over this post. Thank you! I've needed that!

oh those arrows and their roaming ways. when they come home ABR, you best be sitting them down and having a serious heart to heart with them! could be they were denied entry to Beignet's place and went off to sulk

Uh oh, looks as though you may be headed back to court. Those arrows look positively joyous as they flee from ABR. Something must have upset them! 😂😂😂

Those arrows are so rebellious!! Haha. I hope ABR can settle this dispute out of court, and that those arrows will apologize for their behavior. 😄😃

Good morning everyone! Happy to hear that all is well at ABR! Looks like those Arrows are wanting a vacation again! I don’t know about that Cherry Pie Troupe, especially around the bears, one sniff of those cherries and they would be history!

I hope the arrows make it back before things warm up. Otherwise those pies might really get baked to a crisp!

I am going to help you find the arrows.... but every time I thought I found them, I just followed and I ended up where I started.. Maybe the spirit of the faux crow took them........

Another great Monday morning giggle!! May the arrows return soon and give the Cherry troupe a chance to hang in the cooler!😊 Love watching King B finding his way. Bless all our yearlings! 💕🐻🐻🐻🐻💞

Good morning ABR and yearlings. Have a great Monday. ❤️🐻🐾

They will be all be missed but I feel reassured they will do just fine.

Poor arrows...perhaps they think they’re overworked and not appreciated. We’ll have to show them a little love when they find their way home🤷‍♀️😁❤️

I was afraid this would happen when it was learned that there would be bears wintering at ABR. COME HOME, ARROWS, WE NEED YOU!!!!!!

"The Cherry Pie Troupe won’t work in rain and are afraid of squirrels" 🤣😂😍

Ben might need to lay off the bear beer! Ha!

Hope the “arrows” decide to come back soon...I miss them!!!! Thanks for brightening my day!!! I ♥️ABR!!!!

Y'all are awfully brave, trusting the Cherry Pie Troupe around little bears! 🍽

King B looks adorable & healthy! You people are amazing! ❤️🐻

I look forward to these posts every day!

Those darn arrows are a persnickety bunch.

I'm very confused by the description and the photo with the arrows? Were the ABR office burglarized by guys who used Uber to get to & from? Does ABR need to post some "WARNING: Armed Bears" signs? You don't have to tell them they are armed with stolen cameras.

Love the camaraderie of the sweet cubs

Oh arrows, where for art thou? 🙂. As always, your posts make my day!!

Keep writing these brilliant posts, ABR people (or bears?). This is my cup of 🍵.

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1 day ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

Facebook Live with Curator Janet. February 23, 2020. ... See MoreSee Less

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Oh my goodness......look @ that chubby little bear!! 🤗❤

King B will want to take this tree with him when he leaves. <3

Thank you Curator Janet for all you do and for the history, and I hope you have a great time at the Mardi Bear Party

Happy Mardi Gras, King B, Boudreaux and Beignet. Let the good times roll.

Love me some beautiful black bears and Appalachian Bear Rescue. You're the best.

Thanks again Janet and lazy Jake and Joey. Safe travels home and wishes for a blessed week ahead 😊🐶🐶

Thank you Janet for another great weekend of Facebook live and our history lesson looking forward for next weekend thanks so much for all the great videos safe travels and have a great week🐻💕🐾

We visited ABR yesterday. Love the gift shop and the shadow box of Boston Bear. Such a special place. Appreciate all you do for these bears, Janet.

They are so cute all the time, but I would definitely put Beignet's somersault in a presentation.

Beignet could not have been in a better place to get a second chance at life than at ABR ❤️

Thank you Janet for the videos today! Enjoyed seeing all the bears at play today! Thank you for all that you and the others do for our precious little bears! Have a blessed day and great week ahead!

This hour always goes so quickly. Thank you, Janet. Love these live sessions!

Thank you so much Janet for being here for us! I REALLY enjoy these sessions <3 Have a wonderful week!

Beignet is going to be one fine mama bear! Bet she could handle triplets!

Our sweet B girl. Shes the whole package, that girl.

Thank you so much for another delightful weekend! Have a great week ahead! 🥰

She’s still getting back at him for all the times he almost smothered her when they were babies 😉❤️

Thank you, Janet! We appreciate all of the work everyone at ABR does to help the bears. ❤️

Love watching these healthy happy Bears having a wrestling match , just wearing them selfs out . Thanks for giving them a place to grow up love ABR .

Janet, im sure you are so ready to start feeding them baby bears. ❤❤🙏

Have a great week Janet and all ABR followers❤️🐻❤️

She fractured it the second time 10/31/19, I keep notes on all the bears❤️🐻❤️

Haha! I love how relaxed they are - lying on their backs! So freaking cute! <3

Thanks for all you do for the bears and sharing them with us!

Thank you Janet, wonderful job keeping us informed. Thank you for the yearly updates of past bears.

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2 days ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

After a very busy 2009 season with 23 bears needing our assistance, the first half of 2010 would prove to be just as demanding. The hard mast in the fall of 2009 was insufficient to sustain the population of ¬bears who depended on an abundance of acorns to get them through the winter.


#114: The first cub of 2010 arrived on January 9th after having been observed alone without a mother. The 11-month old cub first appeared on the deck of a residence and later returned and was observed playing with a neighbor’s cattle; chasing and being chased in turn. Residents of the Maryville, TN neighborhood reported a large bear had been hit by a car a few weeks earlier and thought this might have been her cub. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Officer Jeff Pearce captured the little male weighing 15 lbs. and brought it to ABR. While at ABR, #114 abandoned any misplaced desire to be a “herding bear” and honed his wild bear survival skills. He was released in May with several other members of the Class of 2010 weighing 65 lbs.

#115: On January 20, 2010, TWRA Officer David Sexton captured a 20 lb. orphaned female. She joined #114 and was released in May weighing 65 lbs.

#116: On February 18th, TWRA Officer Wayne Rich captured an orphaned female weighing 25 lbs. in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. She grew healthy with the other yearlings in residence and was released in May weighing 70 lbs.

#117: On February 19th, another 25 lb. female yearling was captured by TWRA Officer Scott Hollenbeck in Newport, Tennessee. She was released in May with #114, #115, and #116 weighing 71 lbs.

#118 (Gretel): On February 20th, TWRA Officer David Sexton delivered his second bear of the year; a female weighing 20 lbs. She was released in May with #119 weighing 80 lbs.

#119 (Hansel): On February 27th, a 25 lb. male yearling was captured at “Top of the World” in Walland, Tennessee. He was housed with #118 and on May 20th, “Hansel and Gretel” returned to the forest to live their lives as wild bears. He weighed 90 lbs. at release.

#120 (B.G.): In March, TWRA Officer Jeff Bishop captured a 14-month old yearling in Polk County. The severely malnourished female weighed only 10 lbs., a healthy weight for a spring cub-of-the-year, but not for a yearling. She remained at ABR until late July when she was released weighing 85 lbs.

#121 (Park 6): April would prove to be a very difficult month as bears had exited their dens and more starving yearlings were found. On April 2nd, Bill Stiver, NPS, brought a very malnourished female yearling weighing 15 lbs. to ABR from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). She remained at ABR for 131 days and was released in August weighing 70.2 lbs.

#122 (Park 7): The following day, April 3rd, an extremely emaciated yearling was observed on Hwy. 321 in the GSMNP. The tiny female weighed only 8 lbs.; another victim of an inadequate hard mast in the fall of 2009. That she survived until April 2010 was remarkable, but her poor physical condition left her with no reserves left and she died two days after her arrival. A necropsy at UT determined the cause of death to be severe emaciation, renal failure, and sepsis.

#123 (Suttles): Also, on April 3rd, Townsend Police Chief Ron Suttles found a yearling in a ditch off Old Schoolhouse Gap Road and brought it to ABR. The female yearling weighed 25 lbs. and was housed with other yearlings in residence. She was released in May weighing 65 lbs.

#124 (Butler) arrived from Carter County on April 6th weighing 20 lbs. Housed with mostly female yearlings, he became quite the ladies’ man. By late July, he was a handsome, healthy yearling and was released weighing 105 lbs.

#125 (Park 8): On April 17th, a 15 lb. female yearling was found in the GSMNP, yet another victim of starvation. The emaciated bear spent a brief time in a pen alone overcoming exhaustion and to keep her from having to compete with the other bears for food. She grew stronger and healthier and was eventually able to join the other yearlings in residence. She was released in late July with #124 (Butler) weighing 75.4 lbs.

#126 (R.A.): In a year that saw Tennessee yearlings captured and admitted one after the other, ABR had not received any reports about 2010 cubs-of-the-year until May 8th when Virginia officials called about a small, orphaned male cub weighing less than 10 lbs. Although the yearlings in residence were small for their age, they were still larger and more experienced than #126 (R.A.). He was too young to be introduced to bears that had already experienced living in wild habitats for over a year, so he resided alone in an area that offered him a safe, comfortable existence where he could observe the older bears. He could also vocalize and interact indirectly with the other bears. By summer, he had grown stronger and bigger and was introduced a family of bears rescued from the national park. It took persistence to win their respect and be allowed to join the “family,” but within a week, he had earned his place. By August, the yearlings were ready to be released and R.A. was once again, alone. Lucky for him, a yearling from Louisiana, in a nearby enclosure, seemed to take an interest in him. Although she was much larger and older, the two were introduced and bonded immediately. The female became a mother figure for R.A., and he thrived on the attention she gave him. The two nestled, roughhoused and foraged together, and she taught him to break branches from trees to make a nest for the night. He learned valuable lessons from her until it was time for her release back to Louisiana on Thanksgiving Day. Alone again, R.A. found a new companion when another bear arrived shortly before Christmas. The two denned together while at ABR and emerged in the spring healthy and ready to embark on new, wild adventures. R.A. was 104 lbs. when he was released in Virginia on April 12, 2011.

#127 (Park 9) was captured in the GSMNP Chimneys picnic area in May. The orphaned female yearling weighed 19 lbs. and was severely underweight and malnourished. She was given supplements and fed a healthy diet until she had recovered enough to be housed with other bears in residence. By August, she weighed 112.6 lbs. and was released back to the GSMNP.

#92 (Big Momma) re-admit: In March 2009, two small cubs were admitted from Louisiana (LA1 and LA2) and after spending time with 21 other cubs at ABR, were released back to their wild habitat. Both bears had received transponders for tracking and officials hoped they would choose to den together; however, the two separated and denned separately during the winter months. As winter turned to spring, LDWF discovered the female alone and wandering too close to a busy highway. LA1 had not fared well during the winter and was dehydrated and starving. She was re-captured and returned to ABR for rehabilitation; the first time an agency had returned a bear to ABR. LA1 required antibiotics, specialized supplements/diets and lots of TLC to help her overcome the ill effects of dehydration and malnutrition. The bear’s first winter alone had been quite a struggle due to the lack of an adequate food supply in the wild. It was during LA1’s recovery that a small, male cub (#126 R.A.), was admitted from Virginia. LA1 developed a maternal instinct that guided her to care for the little bear and teach him special skills that she had acquired during her time in the wild. Renamed “Big Momma,” the curator observed with amazement as Big Momma sent R.A. up trees and instructed him how to break limbs in order to gnaw bark and find bugs, taught him to forage for food, roughhoused with him to help him grow strong, and taught him to build a nest upon which to sleep. The two spent several months together at ABR and were devoted to each other; however, on Thanksgiving Day, it was time for Big Momma to return to Louisiana. Again, she was worked up, tagged, collared, and placed in a warm nest full of supplies for the long trip home. Big Momma was now a much healthier 150 lbs.; better equipped to face her second winter in the wild.

#128 (Elka) and #129 (Monty): In June 2010, two orphaned yearlings were found wandering near Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The female weighed 30 lbs. and was extremely weak upon arrival. Her brother arrived a few hours later weighing a bit more at 41 lbs., but still too small for a 17-month-old yearling. The yearlings were given supplements and fed nutritious foods. They adjusted well, regained their health, and by late July were able to return to their wild habitat. At release, Elka weighed 69 lbs. and Monty weighed 86 lbs.

#130 (Kris): There had been a six-month lull in bear admissions when Louisiana called about an underweight yearling that was so scrawny it was observed rooting through garbage to find food. The underweight bear arrived on December 22nd and was dubbed “Kris Kringle.” Kris was not driving a sleigh…. he arrived in a straw-filled culvert trap from Louisiana. Although in good health, at 40 lbs., the almost two-year old yearling was too small for his age and the LDWF felt it would be detrimental for him to face winter being underweight. Shortly after arriving, he was introduced to #126 (R.A.). Initially, R.A. was not willing to share his den and some unkind vocalizations were spoken by both bears. Kris had a bit of an attitude and R.A. wasn’t tolerating it; however, after a few days, Townsend had a snowstorm and, Kris, having short fur due to being from a much warmer, southern climate, realized that big, furry R.A. could offer him a lot of warmth. The two bears denned together on Christmas Day. Kris packed on the pounds during his stay and was released back to Louisiana in April 2011 weighing 104 lbs. ABR has previously stated “no news is good news” about bears released from our care. Sadly, ABR would find out in 2013, just 8 months after release, that #130 (Kris) was illegally killed. At that time, Louisiana black bears were protected under the endangered Species Act. Agents estimated the bear to have weighed 200 lbs. when he was shot in Mississippi. The offender was charged, and the judge ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine, as well as $3,000 in restitution to Appalachian Bear Rescue. Curator Lisa Stewart was quoted as saying, “It’s just very devastating. We had an opportunity where he shared his experience with a younger cub. Every time I would get too near the containment area, he would retreat with those noises [huffing, blowing, chomping] and the cub would follow him and copy him. Then, he went back to the wild. He was never a nuisance.”

Rescuing cubs and yearlings and returning them to the wild is very rewarding, but as with any type of work, there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly. While we would prefer all our released bears live out a long, healthy life, we know that isn’t reality. Life is hard for bears and nature can be cruel. Although black bears can live to be thirty years old and beyond, the average lifespan of a wild, black bear is 12-15 years; however, bears who come into conflict with humans have a life expectancy of half as long. We focus on the good and giving the bears in our care a second chance at life, but we can’t guarantee them life, so while we mourn the losses, we must move forward to care for the bears yet to come through our gates. Each year brings more cubs or yearlings who need help and deserve a second chance at life.

You can read Curator Janet’s previous posts about all the bears who have received their second chance at life from Appalachian Bear Rescue at the links below. Thank you for supporting our mission to return bears to the wild where they belong.

1996: tinyurl.com/qmcgxs6
1997: tinyurl.com/sfla4p7
1998: tinyurl.com/uaj989p
1999: tinyurl.com/tpvgxer
2000: tinyurl.com/va2xrsc
2001-2002: tinyurl.com/yx74d8mn
2003: tinyurl.com/r6rhjwe
2004: tinyurl.com/ro4nn9x
2005: tinyurl.com/yx4jdb3r
2006: tinyurl.com/vtn5dva
2007-2008: tinyurl.com/qptpuqd
2009: tinyurl.com/w3ape6k
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Thank you again Janet for another ABR history lesson your hard work in putting these together and sharing them with us is truly appreciated you are an awesome spokesperson for these beautiful bears and cubs♥️🐻

I love ABR, but hate hunters. (I have my whole life and finally convinced my dad to stop for the last 20 years of his life.) I hate reading the sad stories, but am so thankful for the good people, the rescuers, the rehabilitators. 🐻❤️

This has been so interesting Janet! I’ve been writing down all these precious names as you have been describing their time at ABR. It gives me some sort of connection to them. I really enjoy the weekend FB Live sessions and your commentary! Thank you! 🐻😊🐾🐾

Love reading these histories and seeing the pictures! 🐻❤

Thank God for ABR 🙏🐻♥️

Was a rough time for our bears, thank you!

Another great history lesson. Thank you Janet for all of the time you spend putting these together. ❤️🐻🐾

Thank you Janet for sharing the history of the former bears!

Thank you for sharing this history and for caring for the black bears! I read every word! ❤️❤️❤️

Thank you for the wonderful narrative Janet. ❤️

Thank you for sharing this with us 🙏🏻❤️

Happy Birthday you beautiful cubbies!!! ❤️🐻🐻🐻🐻❤️

I can’t get the links to open. 😭


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2 days ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

Facebook Live with Curator Janet. February 22, 2020.
Today, we will review the bears from 2010: A Year for Yearlings, as well as check in on our four resident yearlings.
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It’s a special day for the yearlings. 🎂🐻🐻🐻🐻

It was a huge girl bear. She was looking for food. It took for darts to put her to sleep.

Janet, I think it might have been in California. I saw a little blip about it.

You all perform such miracles with these malnourished bears. Thank you for your hard work with them.

I think it would be great when they go back to Louisiana that you could go too Janet and be apart of their release since you have been with them since they came❤️

Happy 13 month Birthday to our yearlings, and to all 1 month old cubs and 13 month olds in the wild! Actually happy birthday to all Black Bears!!!

Hoping that this yr, we dont get too many bears. Thats out of our hands though.

Hello from Pinnacle, NC. I do so enjoy watching the bear cubs recuperate and get to be big chubby cubs. I appreciate all you do.

Such wonderful smart creatures 🐻❤️

Must have been a shock to go from plenty of food at ABR to next to nothing in the wild.

How sweet, Janet. You are a mama bear for the bears and human cubs too.

Loved the history today janet , and that most all the babies are sleepin this afternoon! You and your wknd live videos are a big extra ray of sunshine and especially happy about that today so thankyou! Its been a gray windy day in florida 🙂

Birthdays are for being lazy! I am having a lazy quiet day.

Thank goodness for those cameras. And of course the cutest camera repair bear, Boudreaux.

We are warming up a bit in Minneapolis, but back to colder weather next week. I know about cabin fever. 😁 You all are so helpful with that.

Ben is so cool! Wish we knew more about him. Hes such a great storyteller!

Great FB live !!!! See y’all tomorrow ... Thanks Janet for your dedication!

Thank you as always Janet. So enjoy the history. It’s so helpful when visitors come and ask questions about previous bears.

That was a great class very informative great one coming up in March Black Bears of the Smokies!!

The excellent nutrition you provide them with produces such beautiful shiny coats.

Thank you Curator Jane for another fun fact filled live.

Happy birthday to all the little cubs 🎂🎂🎂

I actually listen to this! Very cool great work Appalachian Bear Rescue xx

Thank you, Janet, for today's lesson and visiting with us!!❤️

So far no tiny babies this year. That is good. WCV has had 7 so far. Trying to find foster moms for them. Hope they can.

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3 days ago

Appalachian Bear Rescue

This video will serve as today's post. ... See MoreSee Less

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It looks so much bigger than it did before when I was on a tour, I know the building is the same but so much more light makes it look bigger...so glad for you all

I know bears and trees go together but it still gives me hives when they get so far up! 😜

Thanks for the pep talk Curator David! 😉

Do bears have tonsils? We got a good look into Boudreaux’s throat when he “adjusted” the camera

Your trees and climbing apparatus, as well as toys, are very visually stimulating.

Do you ever have a baby bear climb a tree and get scare to climb back down on it’s own

How is it that those needles have not turned brown and all falling off like every other Christmas tree ever? LOL

So much more like being in a room, without all the caging!

I love bears so much thank y’all for taking good care of these beautiful animals!

The newly improved rooms look great!

I love bears and if you seen my home you would know that.

Silly bear! I love that we got to see all the way down his mouth!!

I think we might actually be rain free until Monday 😊👍🏻

😂😂😂😂 He’s a determined stinker!

Thanks as always Curators....have a great weekend

Are these climbing structures new? I haven’t tuned in for a while ~

Thank you for the wonderful update.

Jessamine needs a good brushing!

Never noticed that Jessamine has so much white on her face.

I love how he clings to that tree, just in case he needs to climb up

He’s just a gorgeous bear

Is Balthazar only get nuts or are you all giving bear diet pellets as well?

King B looks like he's doing well! So good to see!

Thanks for all u guys do for these bears and god bless

King B is looking good! Is he aware of the yearlings?

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More Room in the Den Campaign

We will be adding a fifth wild enclosure and upgrading several of our existing buildings to better accommodate bears in need. View the campaign letter to learn more about all the upgrades. Click here to view a map of the future upgrades.

Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) is a black bear rescue facility located just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Townsend, Tennessee. ABR is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that has been returning black bears back to the wild since 1996. Each year black bears from our national parks and surrounding areas are orphaned, injured, or in need of medical care. Thanks to Appalachian Bear Rescue, these bears are given a second chance at life in the wild.

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