Knoxville, Tennessee – A bear cub is recuperating after being struck by a car in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The injured cub, estimated to be eight months of age, was rescued last weekend after someone reported the incident to the Elkmont Campground manager.
The Appalachian Bear Rescue said:
Last night, we received a call from Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranger (and former ABR curator) Greg Greico, about a bear cub hit by a vehicle on River Road at Elkmont Road.
The two responding park rangers found the cub lying in the road, still breathing. After the rangers clapped their hands, the bear cub got up and “staggered to the side of the road,” before climbing into a tree to rest. The rangers determined that the cub was not doing well and made the decision to use a tranquilizer dart to safely get her out of the tree.
The injured cub was taken to the Appalachian Bear Rescue for care. In a social media post, the rescue organization said:
X-rays revealed she didn’t have any fractures, but she was bleeding from her nose and there was a little blood at the back of her throat. The vets administered a hypertonic saline solution to draw fluid out of her brain to prevent swelling. She was released to ABR with a prescription for pain meds. In keeping with our Scottish theme, we’ve named her Myrtle Bear.
Myrtle is recuperating at Hartley House. The curators are using cameras to observe the cub 24/7 and she was initially provided with a small bowl of apple/berry sauce containing pain meds. The organization stated that the next few days are critical and the curators are doing their utmost to give Myrtle the care she needs to survive.
On October 2, the organization provided a promising update about Myrtle’s condition, writing:
Her mobility seems good: she can walk in a straight line, not staggering, and not in circles. Her head seems to be in control of her body: she can direct her feet to where her noggin wants them to go (i.e to the food bowls). Her scat and urine don’t contain blood, and she seems to have no trouble eliminating either.
The most recent post, on Monday, indicates that Myrtle’s condition is continuing to improve:
Myrtle Bear, our most recent arrival, seems to be feeling better. Curator Coy added puppy chow to her menu and she seems to appreciate its tummy-filling properties. If her progress continues, she’ll soon be on the same chubbifying diet as our other 13 bears.
(Image of Myrtle via screenshot Live 5 News)