Photo Credit: knoxnews.com
Already smarter than the average bear at a very young age, a stranded baby bear hitched a ride on a raft to safety last week after becoming malnourished and struggling to survive.
After being plucked from the Nolichucky River near Erwin, Tennessee, the five-month-old cub is on the road to recovery at the Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend.
Guides with the USA Raft Company had spotted the bear, now known as Noli, several days earlier struggling by the river bank. Company owner Matt Moses told the Knoxville News Sentinel, “We had seen this bear over the last four days, and there was no sight of a mama bear. She was obviously malnourished and appeared to be in distress. My guides kept coming back to me and saying they had no idea what to do. We didn’t want to see this bear die on the side of the river.”
The cub who was named after the river it was rescued from became more comfortable with human contact each day, according to Moses, who explained, “It would walk toward us at first. Then it swam out toward one of our rafts. Thursday, a guy from another rafting company (Allen) pulled over and she got right in.”
Moses added that he’d never seen a bear react that way, noting, “We see bear fairly often, but we’ve never seen anything like this.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a bear getting in a raft.”
Photo Credit: Appalachian Bear Rescue/Facebook
The smart, and lucky bear, is now on the road to recovery at the ABR, a black bear rehab facility that has returned orphaned, injured or medically in-need bears to the wild since 1996.
Initially, she was very dehydrated, so doctors had to give her fluids, but she’s now up, walking around and feeding. She especially likes grapes and applesauce.