KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It's a big world, and some black bear cubs are experiencing it for the first time across East Tennessee.
Appalachian Bear Rescue said families of black bears are starting to leave their dens and will continue moving around the region throughout April as they forage for food. For many cubs, it will be the first time they left their dens. Experts said most are around two-and-a-half months old, just sprouting baby teeth.
"They are also tiny, ambulatory containers of curiosity and mischief, and mother bear will have her paws full," Appalachian Bear Rescue said in a recent post on their Facebook page.
Experts said cubs will stick close to mother bears since they are still dependent on her for almost everything. The cubs can not eat solid food yet and still depend on their mothers for warmth, ABR said.
Most black bear families stay quiet inside their dens, to avoid attracting attention. However, when bear cubs are hungry or frightened, ABR said they are known to scream — loudly.
"We admire mother bears for their seemingly endless patience both inside and outside the den," ABR said. "How they cope with energetic tykes bent on self-destruction is beyond us."