TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WATE) — The Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) has a new, 1-year-old resident after he was rescued from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday, the organization said.
The yearling, who is almost 13 months old was named Lovey Bear, in honor of Valentine’s Day, ABR said. Lovey’s background isn’t known, but he was rescued by Park Rangers at Maloney Point near Laurel Falls on Friday.
According to the rescue, the bear was examined at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Despite being over a year old, Lovey Bear only weighs 13.2 pounds, a quarter of what ABR says a bear his age should weigh at the least. Lovey is suffering with malnutrition and a broken right femur, which vets are hoping to repair in the next week, ABR said. The rescue also said his teeth are not in great shape, but it’s most likely that he still has his baby teeth.
“He’s been instructed to gain as much weight and drink as much water as possible to make surgery a little less risky. After the operation, he’ll have weeks of convalescence ahead of him, so this little guy is going to be with us for a while.” ABR said.
Lovey Bear was taken back to ABR, where he is staying in the Red Roof Recovery Center. ABR said that curators lowered the adjustable ceiling to prevent him from standing or climbing. As of Friday, he was placed on what the rescue called “the usual deworming meds for three days,” and pain management medication until he is able to have surgery.
Saturday, ABR shared an update that Lovey Bear spent the night in one room of his two room space and was offered mixed yogurts with deworming and pain medication. While he did not each much, ABR said the curator replaced the yogurt with applesauce and a few sliced grapes. The update said he slept most of the night, which ABR explained was not surprising with his condition and as he was sedated for Friday’s examination. Saturday’s update also mentioned that Lovey Bear would be going back to UT College of Veterinary Medicine next week to repair his femur.
“We’ll do our best for Lovey; it’s hard for a wild black bear to endure this kind of confinement, but we’ve had good luck with bears in a similar situation. We hope our luck holds up” ABR said.
ABR is a black bear rescue facility located just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Townsend. The rescue is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that has been returning black bears to the wild since 1996. To learn more about ABR, click here.