Deathly thin bear cub continues to lose fur

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A sick bear cub, found curled up in a ball on the side of a Harlan County, Kentucky road, is still losing fur after receiving care at East Tennessee's Appalachian Bear Rescue.

According to a post on ABR’s Facebook, there is no evidence that he is regrowing any of the hair he lost before he was rescued.

The 13-month-old yearling has adjusted well to his routine, but his recovery is expected to take time.

On Feb. 21, the bear rescue said the cub "had a good night and his body seems to be handling the 75% strength bear milk replacement formula." The rescue has nature sounds going into his nursery.

According to the bear rescue, they are taking him to University of Tennessee on Friday for an exam. He was also seen "curious climbing."

After he was first discovered, Executive Director Dana Dodd told WVLT News the male yearling is almost 13-months-old and should weigh between 40 and 50 lbs. Veterinarians determined the bear is extremely sick, weighing only 12 pounds with severe malnourishment issues, abscesses on his body, a tick infestation, and missing patches of fur.

Dodd said that an employee with the Kentucky Department of Transportation reported the sick bear to Appalachian Bear Rescue after passersby spotted the bear in a ditch and flagged him down. He waited with the sick bear until officers from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources arrived.

Officers from KDFWR arrived on the scene, captured the bear and transported it to University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. The animal was then taken to ABR.

Caregivers named him Hartley, and vets say he has a good chance of recovering. Harley is now staying in The Cub Nursery at the Appalachian Bear Rescue where he's receiving medicine and food.