Copperfield the ‘Disappearing’ Bear

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copperfieldCopperfield was orphaned when his mother was killed one day in Townsend. He was treed by dogs and spotted by a compassionate man and his wife. The couple watched him in a tree for a day and a half and determined that no mother bear would be returning for him.

When the man approached the tree the frightened and hungry cub backed down from the tree into the man’s arms!

The man knew immediately that the cub’s behavior was not normal and secured the cub in a cage, offered him food and water, and contacted wildlife authorities. The man was unable to get immediate assistance from wildlife authorities since he discovered the cub on a Sunday afternoon, so he contacted ABR directly.

He brought the cub to ABR where the curator then contacted TWRA and received permission to accept the cub. The cub was admitted to the facility and the curator realized when examining him that the cub was actually a yearling that was extremely underweight.

Copperfield weighed only 16-lbs, much lighter than the 50-60 lbs he should have weighed! He was monitored through the night and placed in the bear enclosure the next morning so he could be monitored closely for a few more days.

But he had other plans, Copperfield, and he promptly escaped from the holding pen through a tiny opening in the roof and made his way into ABR’s large ”Wild Bear” enclosure and scaled the first oak tree he found. When he was safe at the top of the tree he looked down on us as if to say “this is where I’ll stay!”

In the days that followed catching a glimpse of Copperfield was rare and he could disappear in a flash. He hid in small dens and behind logs, and he rested all day in treetops and descended only at night to eat.

Copperfield enjoyed lounging in his sky-high den until he was finally retrieved (with difficulty) from ABR’s Wild Bear enclosure and released to his new life of even greater freedom at Calderwood Overlook. Bye!