TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WSFA) - Two small bear cubs dubbed Big Al and Aubie have been returned to the wild in Alabama after being taken care of by a Tennessee organization for about a week.
Appalachian Bear Rescue, located just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, took the six-week old cubs in last week after they were found without a mother by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The ADCNR transported the bears to the non-profit, which cared for them as officials searched for suitable foster mothers in Alabama that could take care of them in the wild.
Not content to refer to them simply as “Rescue Bear #329 and #330,” the organization gave them fitting names in honor of the mascots for Auburn University and the University of Alabama.
On Monday, Alabama officials returned Big Al and his little sister to their new homes after finding two potential foster mother candidates, each already caring for two cubs of their own.
“It was best that Aubie go to one family, and Big Al to the other,” ABR said. “We’re very happy Aubie and Big Al Bear found new mothers and new families back in Alabama. Little bears belong in the wild with mother bears who speak their language. We hope Aubie and Big Al grow up to become the big bears they are meant to be.”