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LINVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Grandfather Mountain welcomed a new member to its family of beloved animals in the Mildred the Bear Animal Habitats: Fanny May, a five-year-old black bear with a big personality.

Fanny May arrived at Grandfather Mountain in the spring of 2021 after the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission approached the nonprofit nature preserve about a bear that needed placement.

Fortunately, the park had room for an additional bear and agreed to take her in after they realized she would be a good fit.

Since Fanny May’s arrival, Christie Tipton, Habitats Curator with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, and her staff have worked diligently over the past year to help the new bear get used to her surroundings.

They’ve been helping Fanny feel right at home in unique ways like reading to her.

“Moving into a new environment…she was a little stressed. So we took our time working with her and spent a lot of time with her, talking to her and getting her used to her new keepers and new home. In order to do that, we actually asked some of our volunteers to come down and read to her,” Tipton said.

Volunteers Ken and Barb Tatje read Fanny May stories during her first months on the mountain.

The volunteers shared some of their favorite books with her, including the Bible and children’s classics such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”