People Pull Bear Cubs From Trees For Selfies, No Charges Filed

Following footage of several people at an Asheville apartment complex on April 16 removing two baby black bear cubs from a tree for a picture, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has chosen not to file charges. 

Animal rights activists are shocked and outraged by this move. 

Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and Wildlife Commission investigators were asked to investigate what they subsequently called “harassment.” When the staff arrived, they were told that one of the cubs had bitten someone and the other had escaped.

According to Failey Mahlum, a North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission representative, the event seems to have been a unique case, and investigators have conducted a comprehensive investigation. South Carolina has made it a crime to keep black bears as pets. The bear cubs were quickly released, and the authorities decided not to file charges.

An NCWRC special projects biologist named Ashely Hobbs told the Citizen-Times that when she arrived at the apartment complex, she found a chilly, alone, and wet bear baby. According to her, the cub seemed to have been there for a while and was in a lot of pain. 

Humane Society of the United States of America state director for North Carolina, Gail Thomssen, voiced her profound worry at the tragedy, calling for more vigilance, respect, and knowledge of animals. As Thomssen reminded us, it is against the law to capture and retain black bears in North Carolina. She also said that she thought the Wildlife Commission had thoroughly examined the matter.

Specific actions with bears are punishable by a Class 1 misdemeanor charge and a $2,000 minimum punishment under North Carolina General Statute 113-294 (c1). The commission’s claim that the cubs were released swiftly is, according to Diana Starr, an advocate for bears and a multispecies geographer from Asheville, North Carolina, who is frustrated that the agency is not enforcing North Carolina’s wildlife rules.

The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge in Candler is caring for the youngster recovered from the retention pond. The refuge has a license to rehabilitate orphaned bear cubs. Look for any signs of the mother bear or the second cub in the video; they’re still trying to find them.