If You See a Bear Cub Alone in the Wild, Don’t Make the Same Mistake These People Did

If You See a Bear Cub Alone in the Wild, Don’t Make the Same Mistake These People Did

A group of self-obsessed people in North Carolina were one mama bear away from learning that bear cubs are not there for the amusement of people who want selfies.

On Tuesday, a group of people near an apartment complex in Buncombe County hauled two bear cubs out of a tree, held onto one long enough for a selfie, then cast them aside to fend for themselves, according to WLOS. Only one cub could be found when help arrived.

Video of the stunt exists because Rachel Staudt was irked at the group’s actions.

“I tried telling them to stop, but they wouldn’t listen, so I thought recording it might help get justice for the sweet bear cub,” Staudt said, according to USA Today. “I’m not sure how long it went on for, but far too long.”

Ashley Hobbs, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission special projects biologist, said the commission was called in, according to WLOS.

“An apartment complex in the Fairview area that officer did ask me to assist him in response to that, so I did get on site, and I saw the cub,” she said, adding, “We do think that the bear probably had a pretty traumatic experience.”

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The cub was wet and cold and was taken to a rehab facility. It will eventually be released into the wild.

“The cub’s condition is likely a result of the unnecessary and irresponsible actions of the people involved,” Colleen Olfenbuttel of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said, according to WCNC-TV.

The group got an earful, Hobbs said, said, according to WLOS.

“We did follow up with the people who pulled the bear out of the tree,” Hobbs said. “We did confront them on site that day and let them know how irresponsible and potentially deadly it could be for that cub to be separated from its mom, especially ripped out of a tree like that.”

“It is frustrating to see people be that irresponsible around wildlife because it is a blessing that we get to live in the mountains around these creatures,” she said.

Jody Williams, founder of Help Asheville Bears, was stunned by the ignorance shown by the group.

“All for a selfie, all for a selfie,” he said. “It’s just ignorance, total selfishness. This is not what we talk about when we talk about coexisting.”

“It is shockingly irresponsible and part of an unfortunate trend of people interacting with wildlife,” said Gail Thomssen, North Carolina state director for the Humane Society of the United States, according to WCNC. “It is cruel to the animals and puts the public in harm’s way.”

“This incident that took place in Asheville, North Carolina, is a startling and serious reminder of the severe lack of awareness, caution and respect for wildlife that some can exhibit when chasing opportunities to interact, handle and pose for photos with wild animals,” Thomssen said.


Olfenbuttel said the group was lucky to have only suffered a scolding.

“This time of year, mother bears are emerging from their den with their cubs that are experiencing the outside world for the first time and are very dependent on their mother to feed and protect them,” Olfenbuttel said. “People who try to handle a cub are not only risking the cub’s safety but their own if the mother bear is nearby, as she may try to defend her cubs.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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