Who we are
Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) is a one-of-a kind facility in Townsend, Tennessee that rehabilitates injured and orphaned black bears and cubs of the Smokies and the Southeastern United States. Our mission is to rehabilitate orphaned and injured bears for release to the wild; to educate the public about black bears and the regional threats facing them; and to research bear attributes which may help solve other environmental or health related issues.

What we do
ABR receives injured and orphaned cubs from wildlife officials, at which point their health  is assessed. If a bear is malnourished, ABR begins formula feeding it immediately. If the cub in ABR’s care is a neonatal (nursing cub) wildlife officials try to find a surrogate mother to care for the cub.

Older cubs live in ABR’s enclosures behind blind-covered fencing, where they do not come into contact with humans. The environment that the enclosures create is nearly identical to the wild, and all of the food that the bears would normally gather is available. As soon as these cubs are ready, ABR reintroduces them into the wild. Before release, each bear is tagged and numbered for tracking purposes

Why we do it
Bears are an integral part of the Great Smoky Mountains. Appalachian Bear Rescue is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization that is dedicated to preserving the role that bears play in the Smokies and in other ecosystems across the United States. A primary goal of ABR is to make sure that the bears do not associate people with a food source.

Puppy Dog EyesA second chance

How you can help

As a nonprofit organization operating with limited resources, we do need your help: 

1. Mail a check to us: send your tax-deductible check to Appalachian Bear Rescue, P.O. Box 364, Townsend, Tennessee 37882

2. Visit our website:

– click the DONATE link to send us a contribution online through PayPal

– click the CAMPAIGNS link to learn about our most urgent fund-raising needs

– click the VOLUNTEER link to find out how you can volunteer your time or services

– click the OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP US link for even more ways you can help us

8 Responses to “About Us”

  1. Julie Says:

    Is there anything that we can do to save this bear? It’s in Knoxville TN. This is the article on Knoxnews.com

    I just don’t see how putting the bear down is the only option


  2. Bears in Leesburg Says:

    What a great organization. Thank you for savings cubs. Let me ask, do you rescue yearling bears from residential neighborhoods like Leesburg, VA? For thre weeks we have had a yearling roaming about our neighborhood. When contacting VA Games & Fisheries they informed us they would euthanize the bear if it continued to appear in the neighborhood. Can you help this yearling, please? Rita

    1. Kris Says:

      Actually, as resident of your county I also contacted the VA Dept of Game & Fisheries to see what their policy is and was informed that the first course of action is to make sure that people are not leaving out bird food, garbage and/or pet food that can attract bears to a neighborhood. ONLY if a bear (or other animal) is acting aggressive and posing a danger to the community (trying to get into homes, etc.) would they “consider” euthanizing. Hope that helps!

  3. Winslow Umberger Says:

    Will you rescue abandoned bears that are in the Candler, NC area? They are no bigger than a plothound and have been coming to our neighborhood daily for a month now. If not, can you direct me to an organization that will rather than euthanize them?

  4. Is your facility open to the public for viewing?

    1. kathyanne Says:

      No, Teresa, the ABR facility is not open to the public. TWRA rules prohibit contact between humans and these cubs that are going to be released back into the wild. They certainly don’t want to be releasing bears that are habituated to humans! That’s why Lisa, our curator, throws food over the fence so that the cubs don’t see that it comes from a person.

  5. Is your facility open to the public. I am impressed with your efforts and would like to see your facility.

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