TOWNSEND, Tenn. — Appalachian Bear Rescue's cubs and yearlings are growing up big and strong as they prepare for the coming winter.
ABR is currently caring for seventeen 7-month-old black bear cubs and three 19-month-old yearlings. Many of the 20 bears are currently entering hyperphagia -- the phase where they are compelled to eat as much as possible to prepare for the winter.
Raven and Chickadee bears, two siblings rescued in Sevier County in May after their mother disappeared, are no longer tiny cubs they were when they first arrived! Its newest members rescued in August -- Indigo, Lavender and Juniper bears -- are also adapting nicely.
Curators said only one of the four bear enclosures has cubs in hyperphagia -- saying the differences in behaviors between the enclosures is interesting.
"We’ve no explanation for it, and it isn’t anything to worry about, but it is interesting. The curators increased the amount of food to all bears and decreased the number of visits they make to distribute it; the curators want to keep their presence to a minimum, letting the bears get on with the important business of being bears," ABR said.
ABR recently received "more than one" request for its secret recipe for an... interesting... concoction it's calling "cubby broth." As the name suggests, the recipe absolutely requires help from bear cubs.
To make it, the cubs need to "steep" themselves in a sun-warmed bath of grody water filled with peanut shells, leaves, apple cores, berry scraps, and any other natural accoutrements you can think of. The more cubs, the better.
"Do not be afraid to add additional cubs... or you can wait until they add themselves. Allow the cubs to self-agitate. Remove cubs and safety log. Strain broth into sterile jars, label, then discard. Nobody wants it!"
Apparently, cubby broth also makes for an excellent insect attractant, the brewing process helps sooth bears.