Here's the story of a property owner and the three little bears.
You read that right. What started as a dangerous gas leak at a Tennessee residence resulted in the discovery of a mama black bear and her three newborn cubs.
A resident in Sevier County, Tennessee, detected a gas leak in the home. The property owner contacted the local gas company to come and turn off the gas and repair the line. As the gas company workers crawled under the porch, they came right up to "the ample caboose of a very large snoozing bear."
According to a Facebook post by the Appalachian Bear Rescue, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) was immediately contacted. Sergeant David Sexton was on the scene to assess the situation. Initially, he didn't hear any sounds from the cubs and only heard the sounds of the mama bear sleeping.
This was indeed a tricky situation. The bear was not safe around a gas leak, and experts couldn't determine if the leaking gas had injured the bear. And the gas leak couldn't be repaired while the bear was under the porch. And there was no way to heat the home without a repaired gas line.
As TWRA officials prodded the bear to leave, the bear eventually fled from the property. To the surprise of those on the property, the mama bear left behind three newborn bear cubs. TWRA and the Appalachian Bear Rescue went into action quickly gathering supplies such as blankets, towels, and warming disks. Sergeant Sexton watched for signs to see if the mama bear would return for her cubs. There was no sign.
Appalachian Bear Rescue quickly went to work locating a foster mama bear for these three cubs. It is uncommon for a mama bear who has left her cubs to be reunited with them successfully. Though the cubs needed a mama.
The mama bear was unexpectedly located and reintroduced to her cubs.
"Reunion with their mother is next to impossible. We’re happy we didn’t say it was flat-out impossible, though everything pointed to it being so. With all the humans going in and out of the crawl space, we were sure she’d never come back. But she did. And we’re happy she did. Learning never ends," said Appalachian Bear Rescue.
Beyond all experience and animal science, the mama bear and her cubs took to each other beautifully.
Nearly $500 has been donated to the Appalachian Bear Rescue just from this story alone. We all can imagine how the costs add up to rescue these incredible creatures; man-hours, research, supplies, transportation, and education all play a key role in each rescue. Donations are still accepted via Facebook Donate. Click either of the embedded posts for more information.
What do you think of this story? When was the last time you checked under your front porch? Share in the comments.