If you recall, when it was time to release the “first wave” cubs a few days ago, two of them – Petal and Aster Bear – did not cooperate.  On December 4th, they were given another chance, and this time Petal did go back to the wild for her second chance.  Aster remained in a tree, so she will have to be released later.  Today we have photos of Petal, early in her stay at ABR and the workup for her release.

Here is how Petal looked back in July, when she arrived at ABR.  She was about the size of our current “second wave” cubs at that time.

Petal - 6 months

Petal was just 6 months old.

Petal- July

Petal’s “portrait” in July.

Next, we see Petal with her brother Peanut in October.  They had grown!  Peanut was one of the cubs who was released the other day.

Petal and Peanut

Petal and Peanut in October.

Now we will see what happened on Petal’s release day.  We had a very distinguished guest that day – Cassius Cash, the Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park observed and participated in the workup procedure.  First, Curator Coy took him on a tour of the Cub Nursery.

Coy and Supt. Cash

Curator Coy shows Superintendent Cash the Cub Nursery.

Petal Bear is carried up to the staging area.  The Superintendent lends a hand.

Petal Bear

Petal Bear being carried to staging area.

Petal is weighed – she weighs 92.5 pounds!  One pound more than her brother Peanut weighed.

Petal weighed

Petal weighs 92.5 pounds.

Drops in eyes

Superintendent Cash puts drops in Petal’s eyes.

Mr. Cash

He looks proud to play a part in Petal’s release.

Various checks are performed on Petal.

Teeth are good

Petal’s teeth and gums are healthy.

Big paws

She has big paws and claws.

GPS collar

Curator Coy puts the GPS collar on Petal.

Petal Bear is carried to the truck for transport.

On to the truck

Petal is loaded into the transport carrier.

Closing carrier

David Whitehead, TWRA, closes the transport carrier.

Petal Bear leaves ABR for her wild home.  She was released near where her brother Peanut was released a few days ago.  It is quite possible that they will be reunited, but if not, each of them will be living the solitary life of bears in the wild.  Goodbye Petal Bear!  We hope you have a long and happy life in the wild.