News Room | New Bear Cub
You can see her this February!
Images courtesy of Appalachian Bear Rescue
Yona, 2 months old
Yona, 9 months old
Abandoned bear cub gets new home at Museum of Life and Science in Durham
(JANUARY 6, 2010 - DURHAM - NC) Yona the bear will get a new home at the Museum of Life and Science this month. Currently she is in the care of Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) in Tennessee, an organization that rehabilitates orphaned and injured bears for release to the wild. Yona will begin her journey to the Museum on January 15, weather permitting, and will remain in quarantine for thirty days before joining the other four bears in the Explore the Wild exhibit in February.
Wildlife officers believe the cub was being moved to a new den site by her mother, but was dropped by the roadside in Townsend, TN.
"We don't know if the mother was scared away or if she intended to leave the cub, but someone picked up the cub before the mother could return for her," said Lisa Stewart, Appalachian Bear Rescue curator. The lady who found the cub named her Yona, meaning “bear” in Cherokee. She later contacted officers at the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency.
"This cub would have met certain death without her mother if she had not been found so quickly, especially considering she weighed less than four pounds, and was just gaining her sense of sight and sound," commented Stewart.
In late March of 2009, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency officers transferred Yona to Appalachian Bear Rescue. ABR staff introduced her to other wild cubs in hopes she would acquire the necessary skills to survive in the wild. However, Yona thrived on human interaction, failed to develop survival skills and continued to have difficulty weaning from formula.
"It became evident she would not make it on her own in the wild, so we began our search to find her a new home. We were excited to hear that the Museum of Life and Science had space," shared Stewart.
Currently the Museum is planning for Yona's arrival. "The introduction to the other bears initially will be nerve-racking as the group of five sort out a hierarchy," commented Samuels. Staff, however are confident Yona will enjoy her new home with Ursula, Mimi, Virginia and Gus in the one acre Explore the Wild exhibit. The 75 lb bear cub can cool off and drink from a cascading waterfall, climb and rest on deadfall trees and rock formations, and eat from berry trees. Visitors to the Museum can observe the bears at play and rest in this natural habitat from the bear overlook.