The Rescue of Cub #268

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As we promised, we are sharing the heart-warming story of the rescue of ABR Cub #268, nicknamed Clementine Bear.  It was quite an operation, involving wildlife officers, folks in a campground, and a tree service!

The tiny, three-month-old cub was being carried down the Nolichucky River.  Apparently she had fallen into the fast-moving river, and when spotted by the campground she was struggling to keep her head above water.  The current swept her near the shore and she was able to grab a bush and pull herself out of the water.  Quite a feat for a 5.5 pound bear!  As soon as she was out of the river, she did what any cub would do – she climbed a tree.  It was a very tall (60′) tree, and she climbed up and up.


Clementine Bear in the tree from which she was rescued.

What to do?  The campground manager reported the cub to TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency) and asked for permission to call in a tree service he had used in the past.  Permission granted, David Wilson of Wolfe Tree Service soon arrived on the scene.


David Wilson prepares for a cub rescue, not the usual task for a tree service.

We can see the river with its fast-moving current.  Imagine a tiny little cub floating in this river!  David Wilson climbs up the tree.


David is a professional tree climber. It’s easy to see that he knows what he’s doing!


He approaches the cub slowly and carefully, so as not to add to the stress.

As he got nearer, the cub climbed higher.


Finally, she couldn’t get any higher.


David reached out with a catch pole and was able to snag the cub.

Clementine was NOT happy to be caught.  She didn’t realize that this human was saving her life.


Down came the man and the bear cub.


Almost there – TWRA officer was waiting to retrieve her.

The rescue went very well but it took several humans and several entities to do the job.  Clementine was transported to the University of Tennessee Veterinary School for her intake exam.  Then Curator Coy was able to take her back to the Cub Nursery at ABR.