ABR #301 is a male cub-of-the-year who was born in January. He was found in Kentucky, where he was wandering from farm to farm. Fortunately some people saw him and after watching for a mother bear to come (none did) they called the KY Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Ranger Tristan Curry transported the tiny cub to ABR. Because of current social distancing protocols, he left the carrier outside of ABR without contact with the curator. Curator Ashley took the carrier with cub inside to the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, where they were awaiting his arrival. Ashley had to wait outside during his exam. When it became apparent that the cub needed to be kept in the ICU, Ashley returned to ABR.

#301 was very needy, suffering from severe dehydration, severe malnutrition, severe hypoglycemia, and severe anemia. In addition he had a severe tick infestation. He spent the night in the ICU, and the vets were afraid he might not make it. But with the resilience of his species, by morning he was actually able to take in some food, and was able to travel to ABR where he was introduced to The Hartley House.

Because of being found on a farm, where some cows had showed interest in the little cub, it seemed appropriate to nickname him Ferdinand, after the famous fictional bull. Here is his story in pictures, thanks to Amanda Eaton.

ABR Cub #301 – Ferdinand Bear before his rescue.
The little cub had wandered through the pastures.
A herd of cows showed interest in the cub.
He was licked by one of the cows.
The licking left Ferdinand with wet fur.
As weak as he was, he did the “bear thing,” and climbed a tree.
Tristan Curry easily caught little Ferdinand and placed him in a carrier.
At the UT vet school, Ferdinand was finally able to rest.
After his rest, the little cub stood up.
He was able to eat applesauce from a syringe.
He showed that he could lap from a bowl! He really liked the bear milk replacement formula.
What a hungry little cub he was! He finished his formula with relish.
The next morning, Ferdinand was transported to ABR and introduced to The Hartley House.

He will have the two rooms of The Hartley House to explore and begin to recover from the trauma he has experienced. In time, with proper care, he will grow from the little three-month-old, six pound cub he is now until he is as big as our four yearling bears.