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People Filmed Pulling Bear Cubs Out of Tree in North Carolina for Photo Op

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

People Filmed Pulling Bear Cubs Out of Tree in North Carolina for Photo Op

Posted 2024-04-29  by  Stephanie Mallory

One of the cubs was later found in poor condition. The other cub hasn't been located

No charges will be filed against a group of people filmed pulling two young bear cubs out of a tree to take pictures with them in North Carolina.

According to Yahoo News, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) posted a video of the incident, which occurred Tuesday, April 16, at an Asheville apartment complex.

In the video, you can see people yanking the small animals from the tree. One of the people even drops a cub.

“Did she just drop it? Oh my gosh, it’s running, poor little thing,” a bystander says in the video.

According to witnesses, a cub bit one of the people before it ran off.

After the incident, NCWRC’s BearWise Coordinator Ashley Hobbs found a cub, that was in poor condition, in a nearby retention pond.

“The cub appeared to be lethargic and frightened. It looked to be favoring one of its front paws and was wet and shivering,” she said.

In a statement, NCWRC’s Game Mammals and Surveys Supervisor Colleen Olfenbuttel said that the bear’s condition “is likely a result of the unnecessary and irresponsible actions of the people involved.”

The cub was transferred to a licensed rehab facility, and will hopefully be released back into the wild later this year. The other cub has not yet been located.

“Ashley and our enforcement staff searched the area for the second cub but did not locate it. Our hope is it was able to reunite with the mother because it would not survive on its own at this young age,” said NCWRC’s Mountain Operations Supervisor James Tomberlin.

Wildlife officials thanked the Buncombe County Sheriff for alerting the NCWRC about the incident and the person who filmed and submitted the footage.

“We want to thank the person who videotaped and contacted the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department, as otherwise, we would not have known about this incident,” said Olfenbuttel. “This good Samaritan’s actions helped us rescue at least one of the cubs and her video provided the documentation we needed to better understand what happened.”

The NCWRC is still investigating the incident, but commission spokesperson Anna Gurney said no charges will be filed.

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