Orphaned bear cub rescued from river by rafting guide

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TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An orphaned bear cub is recovering after being rescued in Erwin.

Danny Allen has been rafting down the Nolichucky River since he was 13, long enough to log about 10,000 miles.

In that time, he's had plenty of run-ins with creatures who share the land. Most of the time their relationships are built from a distance, but every once and a while one needs some help.

Allen rescued a baby bear cub Thursday.

"We picked her up and brought her down here in this same boat that we're in right now. Very skinny for her size, for the age she is, she should have been twice her size," he says.

He called the TWRA, which took the animal to the UT College of Veterinary Medicine to be examined. She was dehydrated and lethargic. After giving her fluids, veterinarians finally got the cub to eat grapes soaked in Pedialyte. When she was strong enough, she was taken to Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend.

She is now known as Noli. Allen says the name comes from the Nolichucky River.

Officials with Appalachian Bear Rescue say Noli continues to show signs of improvement. She's alert, active, and pacing from room to room in their cub house.

She now has access to an acclimation pen that overlooks an enclosure where four other cubs live. Officials say they're hopeful she'll be strong enough to join them soon.