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Appalachian Bear Rescue expanding, starting membership program

WATE 6 On Your Side staff - TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WATE) -- For the past 21 years, donations have made it possible for Appalachian Bear Rescue to give orphaned and injured black bear cubs a second chance at life in the wild.

The rescue said they are growing and offering a membership program to help support their mission. They organization recently tripled the size of their Trillium Cove Visitor and Education Center and have decided to offer wildlife classes and guided hikes now that they have more classroom spaces.

The group says most people know about their mission to care for orphaned and injured cubs and many people know about the research on bear's movements. The third part of their mission is to promote public awareness about living safely with bears.

"We know if we succeed with this task, fewer bears should need our assistance. This third part of the mission is what the Trillium Cove expansion and the membership program are all about," said Dana Dodd with Appalachian Bear Rescue.

Appalachian Bear Rescue says members will be able to participate in classes free of charge. Next spring says they also hope to offer online classes by next spring.

They are also partnering with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency to host the 2018 Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop in Gatlinburg. The Workshop will be held at the end of March at the Park Vista Hotel.

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