KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A bear cub was rescued after being hit by a vehicle on River Road Saturday, Oct. 2, according to Appalachian Bear Rescue.
The Appalachian Bear Rescue posted to Facebook about a Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranger (and former ABR curator) Greg Greico receiving a call after a bear cub was hit by a vehicle on River Road near Elkmont Road.
The collision was reported to the Elkmont campground manager who went to the scene and alerted Park Rangers and Wildlife officers. The two rangers, who were first on the scene, found the cub lying on the road and still breathing.
The post stated the rangers clapped their hands and the bear cub got up, staggered to the side of the road and climbed a tree to settle into the crook.
Greico arrived and spotted the cub’s mother and two siblings in the distance on the opposite side of the road. The bear cub was reportedly not being alert or vocal to its mother. The ranger made the decision to dart the cub to take it to the Appalachian Bear Rescue.
The bear cub was taken to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. The bear cub was reported to be female and about eight months old.
Appalachian Bear Rescue said in their post that the x-rays showed that the bear cub didn’t have fractures but was bleeding through her nose with blood located at the back of her throat. Veterinarians were able to administer a hypertonic saline solution to draw fluid from her brain to prevent swelling.
The bear cub has been named “Myrtle Bear.” She was released to ABR with a prescription for pain medication. Appalachian Bear Rescue added the bear cub is now at the curators so they could observe her 24/7.
Appalachian Bear Rescue updated their Facebook post stating the curators were noting the bear cub’s mobility, eating habits and senses.
“Her mobility seems good: she can walk in a straight line, not staggering, and not in circles. Her head seems to be in control of her body: she can direct her feet to where her noggin wants them to go (i.e to the food bowls). Her scat and urine don’t contain blood, and she seems to have no trouble eliminating either,” according to the Facebook post.
It was challenging for the bear cub to eat at first but the curators were able to get her to eat meals with the medication she was required to take.
“The curators are impressed with Myrtle’s progress, but they aren’t fooled by it. They’ve seen injured bears seem to rally only to crash the next day. They and the vets want to keep Myrtle confined for a few more days before they’re confident in her ability to handle life in a wild enclosure with four little hooligan cubs she’s never met,” according to Appalachian Bear Rescue.