A 5-month-old bear cub was spotted several times on the banks of the Nolichucky River near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. It appeared that the cub had been abandoned by its mother and was in need of medical attention. As luck would have it, rafting guide Danny Allen came to the rescue.
“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.”
Danny Allen said when he rafted up to the bear cub, it jumped right into his boat. “We picked her up and brought her down here. Very skinny for her size, for the age she is, she should have been twice her size.”
“We see bears 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.”
The starving cub was taken to the Appalachian Bear Rescue for rehabilitation. “She was very dehydrated, and the doctors gave her fluids.”
They even named her Noli after the Nolichucky River where she was found. Noli was given a thorough examination where doctors discovered that she was, in fact, a girl.
“She will have to stay in the acclimatization area until we can’t see any more of her neurological conditions, like dehydration and possibly heat stroke.”
Noli must remain in this area until she is well enough to join the other bear cubs, “It may be a week or so. We have to be sure she is hearing, seeing, and climbing well.”
“She likes grapes and applesauce. Those things are great for her because they’re filled with water.”
Noli appears to be making a steady recovery, but she will need to gain 50 pounds before she can be released into the wild, which should be several months.
Noli is continuing to improve. The Appalachian Bear Rescue posted on Facebook, “Noli Bear’s story has circulated around the world. We hope this serves to focus attention on black bears and the efforts…to help orphaned and injured cubs for release back to the wild.”
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