Utility workers checking on a reported gas leak in Tennessee over the weekend were surprised when they crawled under the house and found “the ample caboose of a very large snoozing bear.”
Now the mother bear’s three cubs are being cared for by a rescue group after the animals were saved from the gas-filled space under the home, with hopes that they can be fostered to other mother bears in the wild.
It all started last Saturday, when a homeowner in Sevier County reported a gas leak. After finding the large bear under the house, they called wildlife officials, according to the Appalachian Bear Rescue.
It turned out that the mother bear had likely caused the gas leak when she broke into the crawl space to use as a den to care for her three newborn cubs. But at first, they didn’t know that the bear was a mother with three cubs.
State wildlife officials returned the next day and were able to get the large bear to leave – that’s when they discovered the three cubs. While the mother bear may be able to survive in the cold, the cubs had no chance. Wildlife officers drove the cubs to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, where doctors examined the bears and found they were in good overall health.
The bears were then transferred to the Appalachian Bear Rescue where they named them Jasmine, Jeannie and Magic Bear.
(picture of baby bears taken by and courtesy of Appalachian Bear Rescue)