The U.S. Senate recently voted to make it legal for hunters to kill bear cubs inside of a den, but an Oregon hiker who rescued an abandoned and dying bear cub could have faced charges, jail time and a hefty fine for his act of compassion, which likely saved an ailing bear cub’s life. According to ABC News, Oregon officials have decided to simply give Corey Hancock, the Salem man who saved the three-month-old bear cub on Monday evening, a warning.
Sgt. James Halsey explained why Hancock has been given a pass this time around, “Oregon State Police contacted the male subject who picked up the bear cub. Due to the totality of circumstances, to include that the adult male subject thought he was helping the bear cub without knowledge that the mother bear may have been nearby, a criminal citation was not issued to the male subject.”
Hancock found the bear cub while he was hiking the Santiam River Trail. When Hancock first found the cub, he explained that the bear was “barely breathing” and motionless. After moving away from the sickly cub, and watching for the mother bear to arrive, Hancock decided to remove the baby because he was not moving, and “twitching.” He stated, “He did kind of twitch a couple times so I knew he was dying or going through the motions of death when I found him.”
Hancock bundled the cub into a cozy shirt and rushed him to a wildlife rehabilitation center for care. On March 28, the Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center updated Facebook followers about the bear cub:
Update! Yesterday evening we received a malnourished, lethargic black bear cub. The cub, nicknamed “Elkhorn,” received several rounds of sub cutaneous fluids. His hydration and body temperature finally normalized around 2a.m. Nearly 12 hours later, he is showing significant signs of improvement!
Elkhorn was transferred to a wildlife veterinarian with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife where he will have a full health exam, and pending the results, will be placed in the care of an out-of-state center to continue his rehabilitation.
The organization commented on this particular situation, and Hancock’s decision to lend aid:
It’s recommended to call ODFW or us here at Turtle Ridge if you encounter wildlife you think may need help. This was an uncommon situation and we appreciate Corey for trusting us with the distressed cub’s care. We are also grateful to our amazing community of supporters whose generosity ensures Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center is here to help in emergency situations such as this.
(Images via Facebook and Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center FB page)
Man shot and killed his newly rescued German shepherd – read why he claims that he ended her life here.