KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two curators with Appalachian Bear Rescue went above and beyond last week to help ensure the safety of bears in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Often, when Appalachian Bear Rescue, is mentioned, many think of the orphaned or injured cubs taken in by the rescue that are rehabilitated to be released later, but last week, a few ABR employees took on a project that may have helped keep bears in the wild.

ABR shared an update last week that mentioned curators noticing an overflowing bear-resistant trash bin along “The Dragon.” While the bins are meant to keep bears safe from human food and trash, they are only effective if human food and trash stay inside of them.

Curators Cole and Bailey spent part of their day Wednesday picking up the trash left along the roadway near the bin.

“When you’ve rescued two bear cubs with plastic jugs stuck on their heads, leaving such a scene is unimaginable,” ABR wrote.

ABR also encouraged everyone in the area to remember that bears are still active in East Tennessee, foraging for last-minute calories before they settle into their dens for the winter.