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A Rafting Guide Saved A Baby Bear That Was Stranded By A River

The orphaned cub was so desperate she literally climbed into the raft for safety.

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A group of guides in Tennessee used their raft to rescue a baby black bear on Thursday after the little cub became stranded on the side of a river.

Baby bear rescued from Nolichucky River on a raft http://t.co/givhQtvWfw

Guides with the USA Raft Company had spotted the five-month-old bear several days earlier struggling by the bank of the Nolichucky River in the Appalachians in eastern Tennessee.

"We had seen this bear over the last four days, and there was no sight of a mama bear," company owner Matt Moses told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

"She was obviously malnourished and appeared to be in distress. 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."

So on Thursday guide Danny Allen rafted over towards the bear, which then desperately struggled into the raft

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“We see bear fairly often, but we’ve never seen anything like this,” Moses told the News Sentinel. “This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a bear getting in a raft.”

The 14.5-pound animal was taken to the Appalachian Bear Rescue group, which looks after a lot of orphaned cubs.

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The rescue group said the cub, dubbed "Noli Bear," has received extensive medical treatment.

facebook.com / Via Facebook: AppalachianBearRescue

She has since been recuperating and eating an apparently delicious mix of yoghurt, grapes, and puppy chow. "She has a healthy appetite!" the rescue group said.

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Noli Bear has also been exploring her enclosure, which will be her home for the next few months until she puts on enough weight to be released back into the wild.

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The Appalachian Bear Rescue group said they hope the media attention Noli Bear receives will help focus public attention on their conservation efforts.

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"We fight centuries of myth and misconception regarding these wonderful animals, and hope that this publicity, as short-lived at it will be, will encourage people to learn more about black bears," the group said. "With knowledge comes respect."

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David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

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