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The rafting guides from the USA Raft Company in eastern Tennessee saved this baby bear after seeing her stranded on the side of the Nolichucky River for several days. "We had seen this bear over the last four days," Matt Moses, the company owner told the Knoxville News Sentinel, "and there was no sign of a mama bear." He added, "My guides kept coming back to me and saying they had no idea what to do."
"We didn't want to see this bear die on the side of the river," said Moses, so one guide, Danny Allen, approached the cub in his raft. The little guy climbed right in, which shocked the guides.
"We see bear fairly often, but we've never seen anything like this," said Moses. "This is the first time I've ever heard of a bear getting in a raft."
The cub, who they named "Noli Bear," is now recovering from malnutrition and dehydration at the Appalachian Bear Rescue. She'll be released back into the wild in a few months, once she reaches a healthy weight.
The rescue group hopes Noli Bear's story will help counter the popular "misconception" about black bears. "We fight centuries of myth and misconception regarding these wonderful animals," the group wrote in a post on Facebook. "[We] hope that this publicity, as short-living [as] it will be, will encourage people to learn more about black bears. With knowledge, comes respect."