Bear Number 611 in the Great Smoky Mountains is remarkable.
Number 611 has been wearing a radio collar since 1982. Park spokesman Bob Miller says the average life span for a female black bear in this region is about eleven years, so it's unusual that she's around at all. Even more remarkable is that she's still bearing cubs.
Number 611 is just one subject in the annual study of the bear population in the park. The study has been done by researchers from the University of Tennessee for the last 35 years.
The UT team estimates the bear population has more than tripled over that span, from 400 in the 1970s to somewhere around 1,350 now.