Black bear cubs recover at East Tennessee shelter

TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT) - Two bear cubs found on the side of a highway in South Carolina have come to east Tennessee for care and recovery.

"Usually that size bear, cub would still be in the den with the mother, but they're not mobile yet," said Appalachian Bear Rescue's vice president Tom Faulkner.

The rescue is the only licensed black bear rescue in Tennessee. It brings in injured and malnourished bears from several southeastern states.

"We have lots of bears that are starving. We've had bears that are 15 months old and only weigh 13 pounds," said Faulkner.

The black bear cubs, Bennie and Jerry, are now thriving in the rescue's new cub nursery.

The new nursery, equipped with heating and cooling, microwaves and refrigerators, was just part of a large renovation the center's been planning for more than a year.

"It's great to have it finally done here that we could use a lot of help and finally make it easier on our curators to take care of all of these different stages and ages of bears," said Faulkner.

Other new additions include a zip line for feedings and an observation tower.

Bennie and Jerry will stay at the rescue until they reach fifty pounds. At that point, they'll be released back home in South Carolina.

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