Finnegan Bear, the four-month-old cub currently residing at ABR is eating all of the nutritious food that the curators provide.  That’s why he has grown from a 2.9 ounce cub in March to an (estimated) 20-25 pound cub in late May!  A bear’s business is to gain weight, and all bears spend their time foraging and eating.  Finnegan doesn’t have to forage, at least not yet.  He will start that training when he is released into the Wild Enclosure.  For now. he is eagerly consuming everything that is put before him, and seems to especially love the grapes and berries.  As these photos show he has a unique style of eating.


Interesting pose for eating, with bum up and nose down.

We wonder if he is practicing yoga and the Downward Dog pose (in this case, Downward Cub).


He is partially sitting on the edge of his water dish.


That door in the picture is how Finnegan goes out into the Acclimation Pen.

Finnegan Bear has a 3-room suite at ABR.  One room is where he eats, one is his self-selected bathroom, and the other is his outdoor Acclimation Pen where he can play and climb.  It won’t be long before he is released out into the Wild Enclosure that he can see outside of the Acclimation Pen.

Lucinda Bear has spent a couple of days and nights in the Acclimation Pen at ABR.  She seems to be settling in and so far is not showing signs of stress from being cooped up.  She is getting a limited diet, due to the potential for refeeding syndrome (when a starved animal can die from too much food, too soon).


Lucinda Bear in her outdoor Acclimation Pen.

She has been struggling to survive, and her fur is not as shiny as it should be.


Lucinda looks a bit suspicious. She doesn’t like the curators to approach.

The next photos were taken a day later.  We can see her very tasty dinner.  Even though she would probably like to have more food, the curators are being very cautious.  The vets told them to feed a percentage of her weight, which is what they are doing.  She does get a nice variety, though, with cherries, Mazouri bear diet pellets, pears and applesauce.  Her worm meds are in the applesauce.

Lucinda eats

Lucinda eats the tasty food. She has not had such good quality food for a long time.

In addition to the nutrition she needs, she has a safe place to rest.  Having been on the move, looking for food for quite a while, rest is vital to her recovery.


Lucinda looks better already!

We hope that this little bear makes rapid progress and becomes a Chubby Cubby.

In The Cub House and attached Acclimation Pen, our four-month-old cub, Finnegan Bear, has access to both rooms in The Cub House as well as the outdoor pen.  He makes use of all of his space, even using one room for his bathroom and leaving the rest of his “suite” clean!   Smart little bear!


Finnegan peeks out of the door to The Cub House.


Finnegan comes out into the pen where he can play and climb.

We are happy that all of the yearlings are doing well.  Yes, even Milo, who is still reluctant to be caught for his release into the wild.


Skipper, Alonzo and Wily Bear are in Wild Enclosure #4, where they spend their time snoozing in trees when they aren’t on the ground, foraging.  Today we have photos of the three yearlings up in the trees.


Shhh! Skipper Bear is taking a nap in the sunshine.


Alonzo Bear is eating well. Look how round his tummy is!


Wily hides in the tree’s foliage while he peeks out to see what’s going on.

In our next post we’ll share photos of Milo when he actually descended his tree for a short time.  Could it be that he’s thinking about taking the “bait” in the form of tasty treats designed to lure him into a pen where he can be sedated for workup?  Stay tuned.

It’s true – Appalachian Bear Rescue received another needy yearling bear.  It is a very small female, weighing just 18 pounds at the age of sixteen months. By contrast, our curators estimate that Finnegan, at 4 months of age, weighs about 25 pounds!

Bear #255 is nicknamed Lucinda Bear, in honor of a woman who was known as the “Queen of the Smoky Mountains National Park,” Lucinda Oakley Ogle. Mrs. Ogle lived to be 94 years old and was instrumental in the establishment of the park.

Lucinda Bear was taken to UTCVM and received the usual worm meds.


Lucinda Bear is examined by Dr. Sullivan and his team at UT.


Lucinda is a very small yearling.

The little bear has been struggling to survive and has not had a good diet.  This is very apparent in the condition of her mouth and teeth.

Lucinda's teeth

Lucinda’s mouth and teeth are in bad shape.

Hopefully, as she receives good nutrition at ABR her teeth and gums will improve.  We are glad that this little bear was brought to ABR where she will have the foods she needs to grow strong and healthy for her ultimate release into the wild.


A couple of days ago, the ABR curator got some really good photos of our little four-month-old cub, Finnegan Bear in the Acclimation Pen.  These images show that Finnegan is getting bigger and stronger and is doing very well.


Finnegan is learning to climb on the fencing that surrounds the pen.

Finnegan eats

Finnegan eats well and has a varied diet of natural foods.

You may wonder about the lettuce.  In spring, bears eat tender leaves and grasses.  The lettuce mimics that for Finnegan.

Finnegan eats

He loves his food, and who can blame him?

And then there is Milo Bear.  He is still in Wild Enclosure #3, all by himself so that he can be lured into a pen by the tasty treats the curators provide.  Or at least that’s what they hope!  No luck so far.


Milo Bear stays in the trees for most of every day.

As a reminder of how far away the curator is when taking a photo, here is this picture of Milo from the actual distance from camera to bear.


The red arrow is pointing to a tiny black speck in the tree. That’s Milo as seen in the previous image.

The other three yearlings are together in Wild Enclosure #4.  All of the bears are doing very well and the curators are pleased with their progress.

Appalachian Bear Rescue has designated January 22nd as the “official birthday” of cubs or yearlings that come to us.  All bear cubs are born between the middle of January and middle of February, so January 22nd is in the center of that window of time.  We have photos today of all of the current  ABR bears as they turn the page on another month of their lives.

First, here is our 2016 spring cub, Finnegan Bear.

Finnegan eats

Finnegan Bear loves to eat! He is eating  “big bear food,” that isn’t cut up quite so small.

Next, we move out into Wild Enclosure #4, where three yearlings are residing.


Alonzo Bear is looking good. He’s put on weight.


Skipper Bear has made an amazing recovery. No more 8-pound weakling!


Looks like Wily Bear didn’t want to have his picture taken, but he looks healthy.

Next, we visit Wild Enclosure #3, where Milo still hangs out in his tree, trying the patience of the curators and the wildlife officers.


Yes, Milo is still with us. He is challenging the resourcefulness of the curators.

We hope to report that Milo is on his way back to the wild very soon.  Of course we have been hoping that for a month now.  We’ll let you know………

Today we have photos of two of our yearlings in their Wild Enclosures.  Milo is in Wild Enclosure #3, so that no other yearling can get to the treats that are being offered to try and lure him into a pen.  Wily, Alonzo and Skipper are in Wild Enclosure #4.

Here’s Milo – still with us, and still staying in his favorite tree.


Milo is very comfortable! He doesn’t realize there are lots of trees out in his real wild habitat, when he is released.

Wily Bear is in a tree in his enclosure.  The yearlings spend their time in trees, coming down to forage and then climbing back up to rest and survey the scene.


Here is Wily.


And here he is again. He has his own style of sitting in a tree.

We’ll continue to post photos as the curators are able to capture the images of our little bears.  With all the leaves on the trees now, it’s not as easy as it was a couple of months ago!


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