Healthy Black Bear Returns Home.

Freed black bear returns to Smoky Mountains.

Freed black bear returns to Smoky Mountains.

Healthy black bear returns home. Willow Bear returned to National Park by Appalachian Bear Rescue. Willow Bear (named upon arrival at ABR) was returned safely to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after several months of rehab at Appalachian Bear Rescue.

Willow arrived at the rescue facility on June 5, 2018, after a man from Cocke County discovered two cubs that had been hit by a car. After placing a call to ABR, the man waited at the scene for two hours hoping the cub’s mother would return. When she did not (and given the condition of the two small bears) he took them home. ABR contacted the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, TWRA,  which dispatched an officer who transported the cubs to the University Of Tennessee College Of Veterinary Medicine.

Unfortunately Willow’s sibling did not survive and doctors held out scant hope

Willow bear weighed less than nine pounds upon arrival to ABR.

Willow bear weighed less than nine pounds upon arrival to ABR.

for little Willow who was judged to be about four months old and weighed only 8.8 pounds. Willow was so unresponsive it seemed unlikely she’d survive the examination. But Drs. McEntire and Cushing, and their entire team were determined to try and save her.

Suspecting a skull fracture, the vets sent her for x-rays which revealed that at some point in her short life, Willow had suffered a broken rib, since healed. There was no evidence of damage to her skull and an ultrasound found no fluid in her abdomen. The doctors administered a saline solution to hydrate her…and almost immediately she was able to stand. Severe dehydration will often render a cub immobile and all it takes is fluid to revive them. The vets advised the curator they wanted to keep Willow overnight for observation.

This precaution proved unnecessary. The curator had no sooner arrived back at the facility when he got a call informing him that Willow was active and ready to relocate to ABR.

Willow began her recuperation in The Cub Nursery. Bears cubs are usually quiet but when they want something, they can be LOUD. Willow soon let the curators know that she wanted out and they moved her to The Red Roof Recovery Center. Little bears fare better in captivity when they associate with other small bears, so as soon as Willow could walk, eat and climb she was moved to The Cub House to meet others of her kind.

Expert care is provided to all bears at Appalachian Bear Rescue.

Expert care is provided to all bears at Appalachian Bear Rescue.

Willow entered the Acclimation Pen which was occupied by Viola and Clementine Bear. At first, Viola was terrified of Willow but, with the intervention of Clementine, quickly grew to accept her. The two forged a mischievous friendship that included lots of cubby hijinks.

 In time, the three cubs were released into Wild Enclosure #4 where they foraged, swam, played and climbed. Unfortunately this area was short-lived for Clementine who died, most likely the victim of a fall. But before long, with the arrival of a new cub named Bosco, the enclosure was again the scene of a bear version of the “Three Musketeers.”

Willow thrived in the Wild Enclosure, and with the introduction of Cherry, Ruff, and Tumble bears the trio was soon renamed “The Six Pack.” The cubs were inseparable – never venturing far from each other and sleeping in a great pile on the Resting Platform. Willow was particularly competitive and initiated a cubby version of “Game of Thrones” over a stump where she proved victorious.

At about ten months old, Willow had spent more than half her life at ABR and it was time to return her to the wild. Often bear cubs determine their own schedule. When Willow wandered alone into the Acclimation Pen (and since she was the only bear scheduled to go back to a specific area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park) the curator took advantage of the moment, lowered the gate and called to have her released. Park Rangers quickly arrived at ABR and immobilized Willowfor her trip. Once again ABR’S passive capture protocol and the care and expertise of ABR, allows Willow Bear, now in excellent health and weighing in at 82 pounds, to roam free in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

If you would like to have a HeySmokies.com donation box supporting Appalachian Bear Rescue in your place of business contact HeySmokies today!

HeySmokies.com donation boxes benefit Appalachian Bear Rescue and help save orphaned black bear cubs.

HeySmokies.com donation boxes benefit Appalachian Bear Rescue and help save orphaned black bear cubs.

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Goldenrod
Smoky Mountain Goldenrod...
Smoky Mountain Goldenrod. Of all the wildflowers that grace the fields in late summer and fall, probably none is more misunderstood than goldenr[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Fantastic Fall Foliage Forecasted
Great Smoky Mountains Fantastic Fall Foliage Forecasted...
Great Smoky Mountains Fantastic Fall Foliage Forecasted. Leaf peeping is always a Smoky Mountain special event! A fantastic display of fall foli[Read More >>]
Mountains To Sea Trail Celebrates 42nd Anniversary
Mountains To Sea Trail Celebrates 42nd Anniversary...
Mountains To Sea Trail Celebrates 42nd Anniversary. The 42nd anniversary of North Carolina’s the Mountains-to-Sea Trail celebrates with some 33 [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Music Of The Mountains Event
Great Smoky Mountains Music Of The Mountains Event...
Great Smoky Mountains Music Of The Mountains Event will be held Saturday, September 7, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This fun, free family e[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Stargazing Event
Cades Cove Stargazing Event...
Cades Cove Stargazing Event Saturday, September 7, 2019 beginning at 7:30 p.m. The public is invited share the wonders of the our amazing night [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe is the perfect solution to all the extra tomatoes from your garden. The HeySmokies.com culinar[Read More >>]
2019 Bear Necessities Black Fur & Bluegrass Event
2019 Bear Necessities Black Fur & Bluegrass Event...
2019 Bear Necessities Black Fur & Bluegrass Event benefiting Appalachian Bear Rescue is scheduled for Saturday, September 14th from 4:00 p.m[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Hiker Magazine
Smoky Mountain Hiker Magazine...
Smoky Mountain Hiker magazine is an exciting magazine for the whole family to enjoy.  There are so many aspects of Great Smoky Mountains to expl[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Bears
Smoky Mountain Bears...
Smoky Mountain Bears are the symbol of the Smokies and sighting one is always a special event! With the tourist season in full swing and a recor[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Fairy Rings
Smoky Mountain Fairy Rings...
Smoky Mountain Fairy Rings. Finding a Smoky Mountain fairy ring is always a special event! Last year was one of the wettest on record, more than[Read More >>]
Smokey Bear Turns 75
Smokey Bear Turns 75...
Smokey Bear Turns 75. This year marks Smokey’s 75th year that he has cautioned Americans about the dangers of wild fires. Smokey Bear’s iconic f[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival
Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival...
The Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival will light up the Smokies on Saturday August 17, 2019. Beginning at 3 p.m. and culminating wit[Read More >>]
Jared Hard Smoky Mountain Music Tour
Jared Hard Smoky Mountain Music Tour...
Jared Hard Smoky Mountain Music Tour. Jared will be bringing his musical stylings to the HeySmokies region for several months in late [Read More >>]
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Porpoise Island
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Porpoise Island...
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Porpoise Island. Pigeon Forge, TN is widely known as a national vacation destination offering s[Read More >>]
Grainger County Tomato Festival
Grainger County Tomato Festival...
Grainger County Tomato Festival is scheduled for July 26th, 27th and 28th 2019. This delicious annual special event is fun for the entire family[Read More >>]
Free Smoky Mountain Ranger Events
Free Smoky Mountain Ranger Events...
Free Smoky Mountain Ranger Events occur each day all summer long. 2019 is the perfect year to enjoy some quality time with a ranger in Great Smo[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Loop Lope 2019
Cades Cove Loop Lope 2019...
Cades Cove Loop Lope is a Great Smoky Mountain Special Event! The Cades Cove Foot Race (AKA – the Cades Cove Loop Lope) hosted by Friends of the[Read More >>]
Ginseng Harvesting
Ginseng Harvesting...
Ginseng Harvesting. Ginseng; miracle plant? Fact or fiction? There are many uses for this fascinating native plant that grows wild and randomly [Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets. Get Your Fresh On!...
Yum Yum! Photo credit: foodie.com Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets. Get Your Fresh On! Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets are open for business! [Read More >>]
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles...
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles. Seventeen of the world’s rarest bikes will be on display for a limited time. Dale’s Wheel[Read More >>]