Brave bear cub who was hit by a car and climbed a tree to escape, rescued

A bear cub has been taken into care after being hit and injured by a car in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

The incident was first reported on September 30 by a park ranger who alerted the Appalachian Bear Rescue care facility about a still-breathing cub lying on the road.

“The rangers clapped their hands and the cub got up, staggered to the side of the road and climbed about five feet up a tree and settled into a peg,” the rescue facility said in an Oct. 1 Facebook post. A ranger also spotted what is believed to be the boy’s mother and two siblings in the distance across the street.

By the time it got dark, the bear hadn’t called its mother, and a ranger made the decision to calm the animal down and take it to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

Myrtle the bear seen by vets
A photo Appalachian Bear Rescue posted to its Facebook page Oct. 1 shows bear Myrtle receiving veterinary care after being hit by a car in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No fractures were found and the animal has since recovered.
Appalachian Bear Rescue 2022

The bear was identified as an approximately 8-month-old female cub weighing 27.6 pounds. X-rays showed the cub had no fractures but was bleeding from its nose, and veterinarians were working to prevent its brain from swelling.

The bear was then taken to the Appalachian Bear Rescue facility where she was given the name Myrtle. Since then she has recovered.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for bears to be hit by cars along national park roads. As of September 14 of this year, at least six bears have been hit by cars in Yosemite National Park alone, according to the National Park Service (NPS).

On Wednesday this week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife issued a news release saying a brown bear weighing about 220 pounds had to be sedate and relocated after it climbed a tree and stayed there all night after being suspected of having being hit by a car. Officials could not find any obvious signs of injury.

Regarding Myrtle, Appalachian Bear Rescue posted an update on Facebook on October 3 stating that Myrtle was fine and that she seemed to be eating more. “If her progress continues, she will soon be on the same diet as our other 13 bears,” the update reads.

Myrtle the bear at the care center
Myrtle the bear was seen at the Appalachian Bear Rescue Center on October 4th recovering after being hit by a car. According to the staff, she has made progress.
Appalachian Bear Rescue 2022

Dana Dodd, executive director of Appalachian Bear Rescue, said news week The incident was about humans venturing into bear territory, not the other way around.

“The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country and has a large black bear population,” Dodd said. “That means there are a lot of people and a lot of bears in close proximity. Accidents happen.

“There are more and more cities near our wilderness areas. When bears invade human territory, they are generally foraging for food. People intentionally and inadvertently provide foraging opportunities for bears. Human waste is a big problem in our area and in many other areas Rubbish needs to be secured if you live in bear territory Many of the cubs we have this year and many in previous years have been orphaned due to human waste.

“Everyone should obey the traffic rules. However, bears and other wildlife often scurry onto the road right in front of an oncoming vehicle. Then it can be impossible to stop in time.” Brave bear cub who was hit by a car and climbed a tree to escape, rescued

Rick Schindler

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