Appalachian Bear Rescue and TWRA Release Summitt Bear

summitt blood transfusionAfter just over four months at Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR), Summitt Bear was successfully released back to the wild in Sullivan County on Sunday afternoon.

Summitt Bear arrived at Appalachian Bear Rescue weighing 23lbs on March 28, 2017. The bear was very sick and required a blood transfusion to survive. Doctors at UTCVM performed the blood transfusion with blood provided by a black bear from Zoo Knoxville. This was the first black bear blood transfusion ever performed at UTCVM, and only the second in the United States.

Over the years, Appalachian Bear Rescue was asked many times to name a bear after Pat Summitt. Bears don’t have names and never hear their names at ABR. As they followed Summitt Bear’s progress, many supporters from around the world learned of Pat Summitt’s accomplishments and of the important work of The Pat Summitt Foundation. We hope that this little bear will draw additional awareness to the Foundation’s mission of doing research to treat, prevent, cure and ultimately eradicate Alzheimer’s disease.

Appalachian Bear Rescue has cared for 264 bears in the past 21 years. ABR has recently expanded their Trillium Cove Visitor and Education Center in Townsend. ABR will use the expanded Center to increase public awareness about living safely with black bears. A membership program that will be announced later this year will offer a variety of educational sessions aimed at keeping people and bears safe.