Traumatized Bear Cub Rescued After Group Pulls It from Tree for Photos in Asheville

Black bear cub traumatized after people pulled it from tree for photos in Asheville, NC. Authorities rescued injured cub, but second cub's fate remains unknown. Highlights need for public education on wildlife conservation.

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Traumatized Bear Cub Rescued After Group Pulls It from Tree for Photos in Asheville

Traumatized Bear Cub Rescued After Group Pulls It from Tree for Photos in Asheville

In Asheville, North Carolina, a black bear cub was left traumatized and injured after a group of people pulled it and another cub out of a tree to take photos. The incident occurred outside an apartment complex, where witnesses captured video of the group holding one of the cubs and taking selfies, while the other cub ran for safety.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) was called to the scene after one of the cubs bit a person. When NCWRC biologist Ashley Hobbs arrived, she found only one cub "sitting alone in a retention pond, 'lethargic and frightened' and 'favoring' one of its front paws, indicating a possible injury." "The cub was wet, cold, and had been alone for quite some time," Hobbs said, describing the ordeal as "a traumatic experience for the cub to be pulled out of the tree."

The rescued cub was taken to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge for rehabilitation and is now doing well. However, the whereabouts of the second cub remain unknown. Officials hope it was able to reunite with its mother.

While the individuals involved will not face charges, the NCWRC spoke to them about the importance of leaving bear cubs alone. Jody Williams, former director of Help Asheville Bears, expressed dismay over the incident, calling it an example of "total selfishness" and not what is meant by "coexisting with bears."

Why this matters: This incident highlights the need for public education on wildlife conservation and responsible behavior when encountering wild animals. It serves as a reminder that approaching or handling bear cubs can be dangerous for both the animals and humans, potentially leading to injury, trauma, and separation from their mothers.

The NCWRC advises the public to never approach or handle bear cubs, as their mothers are likely nearby. If an orphaned cub is suspected, individuals should contact the NCWRC and not attempt to capture or feed the cub themselves. The agency has been successfully rehabilitating and releasing orphaned black bear cubs since 1976, with the goal of ensuring their well-being and survival in the wild.

Key Takeaways

  • Black bear cub left injured after people pulled it from tree for photos.
  • Rescued cub taken for rehabilitation, but second cub's whereabouts unknown.
  • Individuals involved not charged, but warned about leaving bear cubs alone.
  • Incident highlights need for public education on wildlife conservation.
  • NCWRC advises public to never approach or handle bear cubs, contact agency instead.