When the cubs in Wild Enclosure #1 were released, one cub couldn’t go with them. Sunflower Bear, ABR #311, was rescued from a tree in South Carolina and came to ABR on June 19, 2020 via Bear Force One. She was about four months old and weighed about 20 pounds. Dogs had chased her mother, a sibling, and Sunflower up a tree. Her mama and sibling climbed down but she stayed put until her rescue.

Before her release, Sunflower refused to come down from the tree. It appeared that she’d been injured by dogs previously.
The crew of Bear Force One included two UT vets.
She was a very unhappy bear and voiced her displeasure loudly.
She did not like the Hartley House, and she did not like humans!
She couldn’t get out of the Acclimation Pen fast enough!
Sunflower was happier being outdoors in Wild Enclosure #1.
She soon made friends with the other cubs in the enclosure.
She played with the others and slept with them, too.
By July, Sunflower was growing. She was an appealing little cub with her one ear missing.
She continued to grow. This photo was from August.
She seemed content to forage and play in the enclosure.
Sunflower was thriving – and getting chubbier.
This shot of her asleep shows how round she had become.
By November she was downright chonky, with a large caboose.
She was truly a big little bear!
Friends Raven and Sunflower were ready to go back to the wild.

Our next post will tell the story of her workup and return to South Carolina for release. Stay tuned.