Appalachian Bear Rescue is located in the heart of bear country, so it isn’t odd to have other bears wandering through.  We don’t mind at all, and since the cubs’ food is well protected the visitors don’t have access.  Today we have a very interesting sequence of photos of a bear family (mother and cub) that visited us recently.


This mother and cub came into the area in front of ABR.

There was no food for them, so in a few minutes they left.  However, they visited a nearby cabin, and here is what happened.

Mama Bear - garbage can

Her nose led Mama Bear to a garbage can.

Mama Bear - garbage

No doubt she smelled some food smells. She turned the can over.

Bears with garbage can

She rolled the can over to where her cub was watching.


The bear cub watched his mother work on the can.

Bear - garbage can

She was quite determined to get inside. Meanwhile, the cub climbed on the fence.

Fortunately the garbage can was “bear resistant,” and the bear was not able to break into it.  Bear resistant or even better, bear proof garbage cans are the best kind to have when you live in bear country.  They are more expensive, but help to protect the bears by denying them access to human food.

Giving up

Mama Bear was having no luck, and her cub was getting bored. She finally gave up and they moved on.

If the garbage can had not been bear resistant, this story might have had a very different ending, and this bear family might well have become “nuisance” bears.  We are glad that didn’t happen.  It is our job, when we live or vacation in bear country, to be responsible about the disposal of our food waste.

Curator Coy was able to get one photo of Finnegan in a tree, although he’s pretty well hidden among the leaves.


Finnegan is well hidden in the leaves of this tree.

Coy reported that a few minutes later, Finn came down and disappeared into the undergrowth.  Apparently he found Mother Bunny, because Coy heard Finn “trilling.”