Baby bear cub hit by car in Great Smoky Mountains National Park recovering

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A black bear cub struck by a passing car in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park nearly one week ago has been recovering at the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) in Knoxville, Tennessee.

According to the organization, rangers responded to a call about the baby bear, lying on River Road at Elkmont Road on Saturday. When rescuers arrived, the bear was still breathing.

The rangers clapped their hands and the cub got up, staggered to the side of the road, and climbed about five feet up a tree, settling into a crook.


One of the rangers used an infrared scope and spotted the cub’s mother along with two siblings, but by that time, the cub was no longer alert and unable to cry and call out for her mother. The cub was then transported to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine where she was treated and turn over to the ABR.

The bear, now named Myrtle, is about eight months of age and weighs almost 28 pounds. She was lucky and had no fractures, however she was treated for a bloody nose and released to the rescue organization with pain medication.

Her first update a few days ago:

At present, Myrtle is residing in Hartley House where our curators can observe her 24/7. Soon after arriving late last night, she was able to lift the front part of her body and move a bit. She hasn’t eaten anything yet, but when she does get hungry, there’s a small bowl of apple/berry sauce with pain meds and a bowl of water nearby. The next few days will be crucial for Myrtle. Our curators will do the best they can.


Since then, Myrtle has been feeling better and seems to be engaging in baby bear antics.

Curator Coy brought evergreen branches and a kong toy into Hartley House to both soothe and stimulate her. The greenery is something fragrant and familiar; the kong toy contains bear diet pellets she has to figure out how to retrieve. Myrtle is a smart little bear; she solved the kong conundrum right away. Whether by accident or design (probably the former) she stood the kong on its end causing all the pellets to fall to the opposite end near the hole, creating a sort of Pez dispenser for pellets. Good bear!


Myrtle is just one of 14 recently rescued cubs. It is not known when Myrtle will be ready to be released.

Please consider donating to our “Spare a Dollar-Save a Bear” Campaign. Just click on the link below:

If you would like to see Myrtle’s latest recovery video, please click here. offers excellent information about coexisting with black bears and includes contact information for wildlife agencies across the southeastern United States.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook for the latest animal related news.

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