By Jesse Wood
A guide with Banner Elk-based High Mountain Expeditions (HME) rescued an orphaned bear cub recently along the Nolichucky River, and in the process made national headlines.
HME guide Danny “Shaggy” Allen was among the rafting leaders guiding patrons down the river in Tennessee when they came upon a cub in distress on a narrow beach.
For three days in a row, they saw the cub in the same spot. On the fourth day, the cub swam toward the rafts and Allen moved close enough for the cub to attempt to climb aboard his boat, according to GrindTv.
The cub climbed aboard and eventually was delivered to the Appalachian Bear Rescue center by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. On social media, Shaggy was hailed for saving the little bear, but according to the report, High Mountain Expedition faces possible fines from the state wildlife agency.
“We weren’t going to sit there and watch that bear die,” Moses told GrindTv. “We had guests on our rafts and they wanted us to save it, but even if we didn’t have guests we felt we had to do something.”
The cub, which weighed 15 pounds and was dehydrated and suffering from heat stroke at the time of rescue, was named “Noli Bear.”
Appalachian Bear Rescue also posted updates on its Facebook page of Noli Bear.
“Noli Bear is the least finicky eater we’ve had this season; she eats everything put in front of her (unlike some cubs we could name) and lots of it. However, she hasn’t shown much desire to climb, and for black bear cubs, climbing trees is essential; it’s their first and best line of defense,” ABR posted on Monday.
Then yesterday ABR said that Noli was dining on Mazuri Bear Food pellets, blackberries, applesauce and grapes, washed down with apple-flavored Pedialyte dissolved in fresh water.
With the temperatures in the high 80’s, ABR said that Noli was hanging out in the “air conditioned section” of the rescue center with the option of climbing trees in the wild enclosure area. The center’s staff believed this “may be encouraging her not to climb up the platform.”
“The curators are no longer worried about Noli not climbing; she’ll do that soon enough. She has a prodigious appetite, she’s not walking in circles or profoundly lethargic (indicators of brain damage) and her evacuations of bowel and bladder demonstrate that her plumbing works. These are important signs of good health in a cub.”
According to GrindTv, ABR owner Dana Dodd said that Noli should be released back into the wild this year.
See pictures of Noli in the rescue center.