Baby Bear Behind Bars: Why Was a Cub in Police Custody?
Why did a 12-pound black bear cub spent the night at a local jail? Did it disrupt a family’s picnic? Did it rob a bank? Did its little bear arms bear arms in an illegal fashion?
No, this poor cub’s only crime is being cute and abandoned. A Myrtle Creek, Oregon teen found the tiny bear crying in some bushes near his house. With no larger bear in sight, the teenager coaxed the bear into a storage bin with the help of his parents and brought him to the police station for assistance.
Police kept the bear in their custody overnight – Myrtle Creek Police Chief Don Brown said that the cub was “very well behaved” during his stay at the station — and began the hunt for his mother the following a day. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife utilized a noise device that imitates a baby bear’s distress call in the hopes of locating the mother, though thier efforts were unsuccessful.
Bear hunting season began in the area in April, but hunters are not permitted to shoot bears accompanied by young cubs. There have been no reports of dead bears – be they victims of hunting, automobile collisions, or other causes – in the area in recent history.
Fortunately, the cub is in fairly good condition aside from being underweight for its age. A veterinary checkup confirmed that there is no reason why this cub can’t grow up into a happy, healthy adult once he has regular access to food.
Since the mother cannot be located and the bear is too young to be set back in the woods on its own, officials believe the best move is to have the bear live at a zoo where it can receive proper care and nourishment. Monday night was probably the bear’s first and only night in jail, unless you consider a zoo a form of prison in itself… but that’s an argument for another article.
For the record, authorities do not recommend being as proactive as the teenager was in collecting the bear. If the mother had been lurking nearby and saw a human approach her child, she likely would have attacked. At up to 300 pounds, a pissed off mama black bear cannot exactly be reasoned with. In potentially dangerous scenarios, call wildlife authorities when an animal is in need. Care2 has previously published some great advice about keeping both humans and bears safe when the two species inevitably cross paths.