Appalachian Bear Rescue: Mother bear relocated for eating trash, cubs rescued

(WVLT) -- The Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) got two new residents: two sixth-month-old black bear cubs named Ruff and Tumble.

On Facebook, the ABR said that the new additions were victims of "a severe problem: unsecured trash." According to the organization, the cubs' mother had a history of eating from trash and "was becoming bolder in her quest for food."

The mother bear was relocated to another area by the Tennessee Wildlife and Resources Agency to protect her and the public; however, because cubs are often sent into hiding, ABR said, wildlife officers did not know she had offspring.

When wildlife officers realized the bear had cubs, ABR said they worked "around the clock" to find them. Several days after their mother disappeared, ABR said the cubs appeared and were captured. ABR said that cubs separated like Ruff and Tumble have a minimal chance of survival.

Though the cubs were found, ABR said that they cannot be reunited with their mother because she had been relocated by the time they were discovered.

On Facebook, ABR said, "ou may have noticed on Social Media the increasing number of human-bear conflicts occurring all over North America, including in our neck of the woods. Some photos posted are thought to be “cute”; but there’s nothing cute about bears eating out of garbage cans or being fed by people. When a bear becomes conditioned to receiving food from humans, either directly when humans feed them or indirectly when humans leave trash or food available, the potential for human-bear conflict escalates."

"Bears are often the subject of intrusive photos taken by folks who see them as objects of amusement and get too close. Through no fault of their own, these bears can eventually pose a threat to human safety. However, the people who cause the problem are never part of the solution. It’s Wildlife Officers who are called to “fix” a situation they didn’t create and often take the brunt of negative reaction from a public seeking to place blame where it doesn’t belong," the post continued.