People grab bear cubs out of tree for selfies — now orphaned cub is in care of wildlife refuge

People grab bear cubs out of tree for selfies — now orphaned cub is in care of wildlife refuge

It is very important to treat nature with respect. Too many people disturb animals from their natural habitats and it can have unfortunate consequences.

A disturbing video shows a group of people yanking two bear cubs out of a tree for photos. Now, a wildlife rescue has taken in one of the now-orphaned cubs, giving her a second chance.

The video shows a group of people reaching over the fence of their apartment complex in Asheville, North Carolina and grabbing two black bear cubs. A woman is seen posing with one of the cubs for a photo before dropping it on the ground.

The bear cub then runs off, scared and trying to reunite with his family.

According to CBS News, Ashley Hobbs, special projects biologist at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, responded to a call about the incident, and said people were still around taking selfies but only one of the cubs was still present — and he was limping, lethargic and had a low body temperature.

Hobbs says she confronted the people and warned that handling wildlife poses a serious danger for both the humans and animals. There is a chance the mother bear could’ve been nearby and attacked to defend her cubs. There is also a chance that the cub might be unable to reunite with its mother.

Wildlife experts say it is also not uncommon for bear cubs to be left alone by their mothers in the spring and summer, as mama bears might leave them behind while they search for food.


But it was determined that the cub had been orphaned, and since she would not survive on her own she was taken in by Appalachian Wildlife Refuge Center in Candler.

“We always want to see all wild animals left in the wild and be raised by their mothers, but we work hard every day to provide a place for these wild animals to go for those that truly do need our intervention,” Appalachian Wildlife Refuge Executive Director Savannah Trantham said in a press release.

After receiving some care, the cub was paired with another orphaned cub the organization had rescued earlier in the season.

“Both cubs are thriving and doing well in care,” Trantham said. “They are eating well and interacting with enrichment, doing all the things we hope to see with young cubs.”

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge hopes that after their rehabilitation the bear cubs can be released into the wild in the fall.

According to CBS, no charges have been made against the people who handled the bear cubs. While it is illegal to capture and keep black bears, the people released them so no charges were warranted.

But Appalachian Wildlife Refuge hopes the story is a warning against people meddling with wild animals. They say they are constantly rehabilitating all kinds of animals that were harrassed by humans.

“If all of the turtles, snakes, rabbits, opossums, squirrels, birds, raccoons, and fawns got the same reaction when people harass, steal, and harm them, then we would be winning,” Trantham said. “Unfortunately for us, this cub is only one of many animals that we rehabilitate due to the negative impacts of inappropriate human interactions.”

It’s unbelievable that anyone would grab a wild bear cub to take selfies, but we’re glad this sweet cub is in good hands and hope she can be released into the wild in the fall.

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