APPALACHIAN BLACK BEAR REHABILITATION AND RELEASE CENTER

Giving Bears a Second Chance

aka Appalachian Bear Rescue   |   Townsend, TN   |  www.appalachianbearrescue.org

Mission

ABR cares for orphaned and injured black bear cubs for return to their natural wild habitat; increases public awareness about coexisting with black bears; and studies all aspects of returning cubs to the wild.

Ruling year info

1991

Board Chair

Jack Burgin

Executive Director

Dana Dodd

Main address

PO Box 364

Townsend, TN 37882 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

58-1919032

NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Other Services (D60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The black bear population in eastern USA is steadily increasing and so is human encroachment into black bear territory, resulting in avoidable human-bear conflicts. Black bear cubs and yearlings are often left orphaned as a result.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Return Black Bears to Live in the Wild

ABR cares for injured and orphaned black bear cubs and yearlings. We care for the bears with as little human contact as possible. All bears are returned to live in the wild where they belong.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Appalachian Bear Rescue cares for orphaned and injured black bear cubs for return to their natural wild habitat; increases public awareness about coexisting with black bears; and studies all aspects of returning cubs to the wild.

Our goals are three-fold:

• To provide a safe environment to care for orphaned and injured black bears, two years of age or younger, for return to the wild. To that end, we’re working to become a world-class black bear rescue facility.

• To educate the public about black bears in order to reduce human-bear conflicts.

• To do research that helps the black bear and allows us to successfully return bears to live in the wild where they belong.

We are constantly improving the Appalachian Bear Rescue bear facility, adding specialized structures and increasing wild habitat areas to aid in our “hands-off” care of wild black bear cubs and yearlings. Keeping human contact to a minimum is essential to returning bears back to the wild.

We engage our community and all who visit black bear country with educational opportunities that help to reduce human-bear conflicts.

Our team works with wildlife agencies and the University of Tennessee to pursue research projects that help black bears.

Appalachian Bear Rescue has cared for nearly 300 bears since 1996. Our organization includes an active board of directors, professional curators and staff, and a small army of volunteers who support our mission with bears. Our organization works hard to be an active member of our community.

Appalachian Bear Rescue curators have professional degrees in wildlife management and have over 75 years of combined experience with wildlife and bears. Appalachian Bear Rescue curators develop relationships with state and federal wildlife agencies, universities, and veterinarians to ensure we’re working toward the same goal: the long-term well-being of the American Black Bear. Curators engage wildlife agency managers across the country to let them know that, providing they get State permission to send their orphaned or injured black bear cubs or yearlings, Appalachian Bear Rescue covers ALL costs associated with caring for the bears. Curators care for bears with minimal human contact so the bears can return to live in the wild where they belong. Our bear rescue facility offers specialized structures devoted to caring for orphaned or injured cubs and yearlings, from neonatal cubs to severely injured yearlings. The entire facility is designed to minimize human contact and maximize our ability to provide quality care.

We have a Visitor and Education Center, located away from the rescue facility, where we offer classes on every aspect of black bear life to increase public awareness and knowledge regarding the species. We actively pursue opportunities to educate the public, speaking to community organizations and at professional wildlife conferences. We engage the communities and businesses in our area to help make our area of the country safe for humans and bears alike.

We have a strong presence on Facebook, with over 200,000 active fans, world-wide, affording us an unprecedented venue to educate the public about black bears, our mission, and our methods.

Appalachian Bear Rescue is partnered with The University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine to pursue black bear research projects.

Over the last five years, we’ve doubled the number of wild enclosures at our facility from two to four, providing as natural an environment as possible for young bears. We are licensed to care for 40 bears at any one time. We’ve constructed specialized buildings geared to caring for very young or injured bears. Everything at the bear facility is designed to limit human contact with the wild animals.

Since 2012, we have grown from having one curator to having a staff of five professional curators. Our Lead Curator, Coy Blair, has received his Masters Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee.

For the first fourteen years of our existence, we had no place to engage the public. We cannot have visitors at our bear facility. Since 2014, we’ve purchased three buildings off-site to house our Visitor and Education Center where we welcome the public to learn about black bears and our mission. We have partnered with our city and local businesses to provide bear-safe trash containers for our community.

Appalachian Bear Rescue partnered with Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to host the 2018 Human Bear Conflicts Workshop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Over 300 wildlife professionals from all over the world attended the four-day workshop and shared ideas for successful bear management. Curator Coy Blair presented his research at the workshop.

Our next major project is to construct a fifth wild enclosure, providing more room for more bears and connecting our four existing wild enclosures to each other. We will also continue to pursue research projects that help black bears.

Financials

APPALACHIAN BLACK BEAR REHABILITATION AND RELEASE CENTER
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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APPALACHIAN BLACK BEAR REHABILITATION AND RELEASE CENTER

Board of directors
as of 9/15/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jack Burgin

Kramer Rayson LLP

DiAnne Wilson

Retired

Sarah Geis

Gap, Inc.

Jerry Cunningham

Retired

Scott Kirkham

Sam Venable

Retired

Ed Owens

Retired

Phil Colclough

Zoo Knoxville

Michael Smith

Retired

Hardy DeYoung

Retired

Heather Ripley

Ripley PR

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/15/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

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Gender identity

No data

 

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Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data