Did a Gas Leak Lead to the Discovery of a Bear Living Under a Tennessee Home?

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Utility staff in Tennessee had been caught abruptly when responding to experiences of a propane fuel leak in mid-February 2021. When trying into the crawl house underneath a dwelling, the crew discovered a mom black bear and her three cubs.

Wildlife officers on the scene took the 3-week-old cubs, every of which weighed about 2 kilos every, to a facility underneath the care of the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR), a nonprofit bear conservancy group. At the time, wildlife consultants thought that a reunion between the mom and her offspring — now referred to as Jasmine, Jeannie, and Magic Bear — can be “next to impossible.”

“Once workers were able to access the crawl space she was using as her den, they discovered considerable damage to the ductwork and insulation under the cabin,” wrote the group in a Facebook put up on Feb. 16, 2021.

“It’s likely mother bear was responsible for the gas leak that started the chain of events that led to her three cubs arriving at ABR. Regardless, she can’t continue to use the crawl space as a den, and the cubs are too young to be moved around in the cold.”

But the company was rapidly confirmed incorrect.

In a put up shared to Facebook on Feb. 17, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency mentioned that the mom had returned to the crawl house, and the proprietor of the home was going to permit her to proceed dwelling there. After the cubs spent two days being hand-reared and bottle-fed by rescuers, wildlife officers positioned them in a field with a moveable heating pad and blanket again in the crawl house.

In the video, the mom could be seen tending to her cubs, along with her snout poking out of the crawl house as one of her cubs cried out.

“Cubs in the wild are generally quiet; they don’t want to attract attention. However, when they’re hungry, frightened, or cold, they SCREAM. They want to attract their mother. It works,” wrote ABR.

Black bears are native to Tennessee and far of North America. Reaching heights of up to 6 toes, their physique weight fluctuates between 125 and 600 kilos, relying on the season. And when it’s denning season, females will den with their cubs in a quantity of locations, together with underneath boulders, tree roots, fallen timber — and, sure, underneath homes. Females will sometimes hibernate as early as November and keep of their den till as late as May, with their cubs sometimes born in January or February.

Cubs themselves are born blind and with out fur and weigh in at simply a few ounces. By the time they emerge in spring, every particular person can develop to up to 5 kilos. Young and weak, cubs will stick with their mother for the first yr or so of their lives earlier than venturing out to set up their very own territory.

According to BearWise, one of the responding teams underneath the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, one of the main elements in human-bear contact is meals. It shouldn’t be clear how the bear got here to discover the crawl house, however black bears are identified to be attracted to human meals sources, together with rubbish. Because black bears are not often aggressive towards folks, the proprietor of the dwelling advised authorities he would permit the bear to proceed denning in his crawl house till the finish of her hibernation interval. (Black bears don’t defecate, urinate, or eat throughout their hibernation.)

To restrict people’ danger of coming into contact with a black bear, consultants advocate conserving meals and rubbish locked away and inaccessible to curious bears. But should you come into contact with a black bear, consultants advise making your presence identified by yelling at the bear and slowly backing away with out turning your again. And in the occasion of an assault, struggle again.

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