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National Park Asks Visitors to Adopt Bear Cubs in Cades Cove

National Park Asks Visitors to Adopt Bear Cubs in Cades Cove

Beginning this spring, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is implementing a new adoption initiative for abandoned bear cubs in Cades Cove. Due to a parasite outbreak, the park has seen an increase in abandoned cubs in recent months. To address this issue and provide these cubs with a loving home, the park is inviting visitors to participate in the “Care for a Cub” program.

The National Park Service has identified 85 bear cubs that are currently being cared for in a fenced-in area. As these cubs cannot be reintroduced to the wild or taken in by zoos, the park has decided to seek households willing to adopt them as pets. This exciting opportunity allows individuals to directly contribute to the well-being of these adorable bear cubs.

To be eligible for adoption, applicants must reside in the continental U.S., be at least 18 years old, and have a home large enough to accommodate a fully-grown black bear. Once approved, adopters can visit the cub pen in Cades Cove and select a bear to bring home. Imagine the joy of welcoming a furry bundle of happiness into your family!

However, it is important to note that this information is an April Fools’ Day joke and bears should not be kept as pets. While it may be tempting to have a bear cub as a pet, bears are wild animals with specific needs and habitats. They require special care and expertise that is best provided by professionals in conservation organizations.

Nevertheless, visitors to Cades Cove can still enjoy observing black bears in their natural habitat by following proper safety precautions. The Great Smoky Mountains offer a unique opportunity to witness these majestic creatures in their wild and free environment. By respecting their space and maintaining a safe distance, we can ensure their well-being while appreciating their beauty and importance to the ecosystem.

Blue Ridge Parkway Section Closed Due to Bear Interactions

A portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway has been temporarily closed due to recent interactions between visitors and bears. The closure comes after reports of people feeding and attempting to hold a young bear at the Lane Pinnacle Overlook.

bear interactions

The closure spans from milepost 367 near the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area to milepost 375 at Ox Creek Road. The aim of the closure is to ensure the safety of both the bear and park visitors.

The park service advises visitors to keep food out of sight and follow bear safety tips to avoid attracting bears with trash and food.

“It is crucial for visitors to remember that feeding or interacting with bears is dangerous for both humans and the wildlife,” says Park Ranger Katherine Davis. “By closing this section of the parkway, we hope to minimize bear-human conflicts and ensure the preservation of the park’s natural habitat.”

If a bear is spotted in the area, visitors are encouraged to call 828-298-2491. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a unique experience with picturesque views, but it is essential to prioritize safety and respect the wildlife.

Bear 402 Abandons Yearling Cub in the Brooks River

In early July, a bear named 402 in the Brooks River made a surprising decision to abandon her yearling cub. This unexpected event left the cub alone and vulnerable in a challenging environment. Throughout the month, onlookers witnessed the yearling wandering along the riverbanks, searching for guidance and protection.

However, nature has a way of surprising us. Photos taken at the mouth of Margot Creek revealed a heartwarming possibility. It seemed that the abandoned yearling had found solace and a new family with bear 435 Holly and her adorable spring cub. The yearling was observed engaging in nurturing behaviors, such as nuzzling its adoptive mother, sharing meals together, and even nursing alongside the spring cub.

This extraordinary case of adoption demonstrates the remarkable adaptability and intelligence of bears. While it is uncommon for bears to adopt unrelated cubs, this exceptional encounter provides a valuable opportunity for researchers and wildlife enthusiasts to deepen their understanding of bear behavior. The motivations behind bear 435 Holly’s decision to adopt the yearling remain a mystery, yet it serves as an inspiring reminder of the complex dynamics that exist within the bear community.

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