Published: Thu, March 30, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Hiker finds ailing baby bear and takes it to wildlife center

Hiker finds ailing baby bear and takes it to wildlife center

State authorities say a man who found a 3-month-old black bear along an OR hiking trail and took it to a wildlife rehabilitation center has been warned but not cited. Corey Hancock was walking along the Santiam River Monday night when he spotted the black bear just off Elkhorn Trail.

"We surmise he either crawled out of his den or more likely the mother was moving the bear because sometimes rain can fill up their dens and she moves the cubs one at a time", Gillin told KGW.

Over the phone Wednesday, Dennehy said the cub is still being evaluated by ODFW's wildlife vets.

KGW-TV reports ( Corey Hancock says he found the cub not moving and barely breathing Monday. After waiting around 10 minutes for the mother, he took the cub to Turtle Ridge Wildlife Rehab, which was closed at the time but opened up to accept the bear.

The center recommended that people who encounter wildlife that may need help should contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).

Hancock said on Facebook: 'Warms my heart.

Wildlife officials are urging those who come across what appear to be abandoned baby animals to call authorities before attempting to move them.

"This was an uncommon situation, and we appreciate Corey for trusting us with the distressed cub's care", the center wrote on Facebook.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife advises people to always leave wildlife in the wild, particularly young animals. The cub is too young to be put back into the wild; it will require human contact, bottle feeding, and a year of rehab. Reuniting with his mother is "not going to happen", she said.

After a night of treatment, the bear cub, nicknamed Elkhorn, stabilized and began recovering.

Oregon State Police is aware of Hancock's case, but ODFW says it's up to them to determine if Hancock is issued a citation for taking a wild animal out of the forest. He maintains he did the right thing to save little Elkhorn's life.

Gillin doesn't blame Hancock for picking up the cub, saying, "He did what he thought he needed to do".

Past year a baby bison at Yellowstone National Park was euthanized after Canadian tourists who thought it looked cold put it in the back of their auto and its bison family refused to let it back into the herd.

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