ABR had a very long, unusual and difficult day.  It started with the “self-release” of the two sisters, Cindy Lou and Belle Bear, which was discovered by Curators Coy and Greg.  They spent the morning searching for the cubs, finally realizing that they were, indeed, gone.  But that was just the beginning.  TWRA officers  brought two more cubs – Cub #240, a female nicknamed Zoe Bear, and #241, a male nicknamed Cedar Bear.  Although they came from different locations, both of these cubs were severely injured, with possible skull fractures.  They were rushed to the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, where Dr. Morrison and her team worked diligently to save the cubs.  At this time the vets are not at all sure the cubs will make it, and they have kept them at UT for further help.  The only photo we have is this one of Zoe Bear at the vet school.  The good news is that she is not as tiny and frail as many of the recent arrivals.  We are hoping that the UT miracle workers can be successful in saving the lives of these two cubs.

Zoe Bear at UT

Dr. Morrison and her team work on Zoe Bear.

The curators made several trips to and from UT, and one of the times they returned to the facility, they found that little Happy Bear, recently released into Wild Enclosure 3, had fallen from his tree and died.  We are very sad – words cannot express our grief at losing this little cub that was just getting his chance to thrive under the care of ABR.  We remember Happy Bear with this photo, taken just a couple of days ago, of Happy on his tree.

Happy Bear

Happy Bear lived up to his name after being released into the Wild Enclosure.

As you can tell, this was not a good day at ABR. The bright spot was the slow improvement of Snowflake Bear.  She is still in the Cub Nursery, of course, but is showing more interest in eating, and readily consumes all of her formula.  Soon she will be able to eat some soft foods, and we think she will be very glad when they are offered.

Snowflake

Snowflake is seen in her pen in the Cub Nursery. She is eating.

Because of all the unusual circumstances with cubs this year, we have decided that another Cub House is needed.  We will renovate an existing building, shown in the photo below, for that purpose.

Future Cub House

With renovation, this building will become our second Cub House.

A capital campaign will be focused on raising funds for the renovation.  In addition, we are in the running for a $5000 “Moonshare” grant from Sugarlands Distilling Company in Gatlinburg.  If you are on Facebook, you can help us win by voting every day during January.  Here is the link

Thank you in advance, if you are able to vote!