We know that animal rescue often results in sad endings. That was the case on Sunday, August 27th, the day that we were cheering the release of Turnip Bear into Wild Enclosure #1. We received a call from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park about an injured cub, found near the Townsend entrance to the park. During a heavy thunderstorm, curators Cole and Haley picked up the trapped cub and took him to the UTCVM, where the exam revealed that the cub was seriously malnourished (he weighed only 11 pounds at seven months old) and had severe infection that had spread in his little body. They advised that the only humane action was to euthanize the cub. The National Park Service gave the necessary permission, and the cub was humanely euthanized. We had him in our possession very briefly, so he counts as one of our bears – #386. Because of his rescue during a thunderstorm, we named him Thor Bear.

Thor Bear – may he rest in peace with peanuts and apples galore!