What would you do if you found yourself in this situation?

A man in Oregon, Corey Hancock, was out taking photos of waterfalls near the North Fork of the Santiam River, when he came across a bear cub that appeared to be in pretty bad shape.

“He looked dead. His eyes were grey, he was laying there on his back with his paws out,” Hancock said.

Hancock quickly weighed out his options, knowing he was in a race against time. Hancock reportedly waited 10 minutes to make sure a momma bear wasn’t around, then scooped up the bear and rushed to Salem Wildlife Center, giving the 5-pound cub CPR along the way.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says it’s illegal to take wildlife out of their habitat, punishable by a citation and possibly a fine.

After a night of fluids and a warm blanket, the bear recovered and is doing well, but now, Hancock is dealing with a bit of backlash from some folks.

He was not issued a citation for the matter as Sgt. James Halsey with OSP said, “Due to the totality of the circumstances, to include that the adult male subject thought he was helping the bear cub without knowledge that the mother bear may have been nearby, a criminal citation was not issued.”

Now, we hear reminders from experts all the time to never interfere with nature, especially when it involves a bear cub, so we’re asking what would you have done, and do think Hancock made the right decision?

Image is a screenshot from the King 5 News video

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11 thoughts on “Video: Oregon Man Rescues Bear Cub, Gives it CPR and Was Not Cited; Right or Wrong?

  1. “Criminal citation” for saving a life ? Really ? What have we sunk to to allow some “expert” never to interfere with nature ? To possibly criminalize a good deed is the lowest of bureaucratic overreach. Perhaps it’s just that the Sergeant is warning others that this is unwise but do not threaten with criminality an innocent act.

    1. The law is absolutely there to prevent less experienced/intelligent people from getting eaten when they don’t notice mama bear nearby. The idea isn’t to criminalize an innocent act of kindness, it is to prevent the kind and innocent from experiencing the cruelty of nature.

      i.e. getting your arms and legs ripped off by a bear.

      1. Presented reasonably, I agree with you. Starting off with criminality is not the way to win Friends. Not far from me an unfortunate young man posted pictures on YouTube of the bear that killed and ate part of .him. Sadly the young man had no idea of the danger he was in nor what to in his situation..Protecting the innocent is a good thing but it should be done by education not by veiled threats.

      2. Yet more arguments for the principle of “I’m the government, and I will punish you because it’s best for you.”

  2. God forbid we care for the well being of each other. I firmly believe we could take the warning labels off everything and let ALL nature work itself out. If you can’t save a bear cub without repercussions, why in the hell should we try to protect people who don’t realize coffee is hot.

    1. there are two sides to this, one the bear is a wild animal and nature has its own laws . We have to protect those laws no matter how harsh it may seem sometimes , there is a purpose.
      We as humans should not be compared to saving a wild animal but some do anyway and the laws are there to protect the animals from said humans.

  3. There’s almost nothing more vicious than a mother bear protecting her cub(s). The cub, may have appeared “dead” because he was coming out of hibernation, and mom might have been nearby feeding herself so she could feed her cub. What he did was “nice”, but extremely dangerous, and ill-advised.

    I think using the ever present cell phone and watching the cub from a protected location, calling the state’s wildlife agents to assess the situation would have been the thing to do. They are trained and equipped to deal, 99.99% of citizens, well meaning or not, are not prepared to face off with an angry mother bear.

    I think the agents were reasonable in their handling of the situation. This man who was a good “bear” Samaritan is one of the luckiest guys on the face of the earth. He could have been mauled to death. The “law” in question by so many who don’t understand isn’t there to protect the bear, they naturally can do so.

    The law is there to protect the well meaning guy who thinks he doesn’t see a mother bear from being killed.

  4. A lot of assumption and spectuation here. The article states the man waited 10 minutes to see if momma bear came around. Am not a bear expert, but from the knowledge I do have on black bears is that if the momma bear was indeed around. She would of been on the man within seconds. I believe he did a good deed and I would shake his hand for doing it.
    Everyone takes chances in life, but they choose that. This man knew the possible outcome because he waited…He was a concerned person for this little bear.

  5. The bear was hypothermic, and it was raining. Suffering from mild pnuemonia. Dehydrated, and hadn’t eaten in a few days. Corey gave it mouth to mouth three times on the way to help. It would have died and I doubt very much the ODFW would have run out and saved this cub in time. There was no mama around.. it’s quite likely she abandoned this sick little cub. He did the right thing. The cub is in recovery at a wildlife sanctuary in WA state right now with at least one other cub, having as little contact with humans as possible, and will likely be returned to the wild next spring.

  6. It’s a very big chance he took. He would have been mauled at the very least if the mama was near. Yea, nature is a rough place sometimes. It may seem cruel, but the best decision would be to leave the baby bear alone.

  7. I was raised, raising animals. Cattle mostly, the odd horse, sheep, chickens, rabbits, dogs, etc. From time to time, babies die. Usually they are the ones with problems making them unfit to live. We had a deer (a doe) who regularly, for years, would always have twin fawns and leave one to die, always in our patch of woods. I buried a lot of them after watching them decline in health as their brother or sister flourished. It’s just nature’s way. This guy took a huge and I mean HUGE chance thinking the momma wasn’t around. If she had, he would have been a statistical northwoods disappearance! Now a bear that should have died will live and probably be dead shortly after release anyway, or miserable in a zoo. It is heart wrenching to leave things like this take their course but one human responsibility is to do so. Call it tough love or common sense, but nature has her ways and our interference almost always ends up being a problem.

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