Little Ramsay Bear, the tiny KY cub who arrived at ABR on February 28, left us after just a week. His departure was the best possible outcome for this tiny baby bear, because he is now with a real bear family! You will no doubt recall that Bear #300 weighed only 3 pounds and was judged to be about 5 weeks old.

Bear #300, Ramsay Bear, weighed 3 pounds.

Our ABR team worked in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, wildlife officials in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the doctors at UTCVM. Everyone partnered together to do the best thing that we could do for a little bear in need. They immediately began to look for a potential surrogate mom for the little cub.

A sow in a den with two cubs of her own was found in the national park. The various entities analyzed the situation and decided to try to introduce Ramsay into the den with this bear family. Knowing it would be absolutely the best outcome for Ramsay, everyone was on board.

On March 6th, Curator Coy and two rangers from GSMNP traveled to the den site. Ranger Williamson quietly approached the den, took Ramsay out of the backpack in which he was carried, and carefully placed him at the entrance to the den. Ramsay used his strong set of vocal chords to announce his arrival, and the sow was interested immediately. She came to check the new cub, smelled and then licked him, and pulled him into the den with her own two cubs. Just like that, Ramsay Bear got a new family!

Ranger Ryan Williamson carries the backpack, with Ramsay inside, to the den.

This was the best possible outcome for a tiny cub like Ramsay. The curators are very good at being substitute mother bears, but there is no comparison with the real thing. It’s not always possible to foster a cub like this, but when it works out, everyone is overjoyed. Have a wonderful life as a wild bear, Ramsay!