Appalachian Bear Rescue wins $25K, new car in national contest

The Land Rover Defender Service Award was presented to the bear rescue Saturday in New York.
The Land Rover Defender Service Award was presented to the bear rescue last week in New York.
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 10:38 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Appalachian Bear Rescue is currently taking care of 15 bears found all across East Tennessee with the goal of soon releasing them back to the wild fully healthy and rehabilitated.

After a vote from people across the country including many here in East Tennessee, ABR was awarded the Land Rover Defender Service Award in New York on Nov. 12.

“Bear supporters are the best there are, and we’re so thankful for the support of everybody,” said ABR director Dana Dodd.

The recognition comes with a $25,000 prize and a new Land Rover SUV that will come custom wrapped.

For the rescue, it is as much of a win for the animals in their care, according to the executive director.

“Some of these bears have been hit by cars, they have illnesses that oftentimes we don’t know for a while and veterinary services, even at a good price, are expensive,” said Dodd.

The money will go towards paying off some of those expensive vet costs as well as facility upkeep and cost for bear food.

“Bear cubs usually don’t arrive with money in their fur pockets,” Dodd said.

As for the new car, it will replace the older one they have now that was made in 2004 and does not have four-wheel drive, which has made it difficult to navigate around the mountains.

The car will be custom wrapped and delivered to their Townsend offices sometime in February, according to Dodd.