On the very same day that Tartan the Yearling was released back into the wild, as we described in our last post, ABR received another set of triplet cubs! The three cubs, who are the same age as the other cubs in residence, came from the Gatlinburg area and were orphaned when their mother was euthanized for breaking into garages in search of food. Her behavior had progressed from eating unsecured garbage to raiding bird feeders to the garage break-ins. Another tragedy caused by humans!

These three cubs were being taught their mother’s bad habits and would have eventually been in trouble for the same “crimes.” As it is, they will learn at ABR how to forage for the natural food that they should be eating, and hopefully will be able to stay out of trouble after they are released back into the wild.

#357 is a male cub, nicknamed Highland Bear. He had a serious health issue, a blood clot in his bladder that was discovered through a routine ultrasound while the cubs were being examined at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine.

He has a beautiful white chest blaze, something we see infrequently in our cubs. Because of their mother’s eating habits. All three of the cubs were heavier than other recent arrivals. Highland weighed 23.59 pounds.

Highland had to have surgery to remove the clot, and therefore he remained in the Hartley House where he and his urine output could be monitored.

#358 is another male cub. He weighed in at 26.46 pounds and is nicknamed Piper.

Piper Bear arrived at ABR on June 30, 2022 with his brother and sister.

The third member of the family, #359, is a female cub, nicknamed Nessie. She weighed more than her brothers, at 28.66 pounds, and like Highland has a lovely white blaze that looks like a bib or necklace.

This picture of Nessie Bear was taken during her exam at UT.

At first, the curators housed Piper and Nessie in the Recovery Center, while deciding when to reunite them with their brother.

Highland was in the Hartley House alone, but he was so unhappy as shown by his mournful cries, that the decision was made to move Piper and Nessie into the Hartley House with their brother.


The stuffed bear just wasn’t enough for a cub who was used to a family of three live bears! Now the three cubs are together again, and Highland is a much happier little bear cub.

Watch this space for further developments in the lives of all our cubs.