Horrific Incident Caught on Camera as Group Pulls Bear Cubs from Tree for Selfies

A disturbing incident at a Buncombe County apartment complex in Asheville, North Carolina, has drawn national attention.

A group of people were caught on camera pulling two black bear cubs from a tree to take selfies with them.

The act, filmed by a witness, has raised concerns among wildlife officials and conservationists about human interference with wildlife.

A group in North Carolina pulled black bear cubs from a tree for selfies.
Photo: Pexels
A group in North Carolina pulled black bear cubs from a tree for selfies.

Incident Caught on Camera

The shocking video shows several people approaching a tree where two bear cubs were perched. They pulled the cubs from the branches and posed for photos.
As People reports, one of the cubs was dropped after a loud screech, and the group eventually dispersed. Witnesses reported the event to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Rescue and Rehabilitation Efforts

Responding to a police call, NCWRC officials found one cub in a nearby retention pond, wet and shivering. The cub, lethargic and appearing to favor one of its front paws, was rescued and taken to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge in Candler, North Carolina, Fox 8 reports. The other cub was not found and is presumed to have reunited with its mother.

The shocking incident was captured on camera and went viral.
Photo: Pexels
The shocking incident was captured on camera and went viral.

Wildlife Experts’ Response

Ashley Hobbs, NCWRC’s BearWise Coordinator, expressed concern over the incident, stating that the cub’s condition was likely due to the irresponsible actions of those involved. Hobbs emphasized the importance of not disturbing wildlife, as such actions can have severe consequences for the animals, ABC11 reports.

Savannah Trantham, Executive Director of the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by wildlife due to human interference.

“This case has understandably brought up feelings of frustration, sadness, and anger for many viewers,” Trantham told Fox 8.

She noted that while the rescued cub is now thriving alongside another orphaned cub at the refuge, such incidents underscore the broader issue of wildlife harassment.

One bear cub was found wet and shivering in a retention pond.
Photo: Pexels
One bear cub was found wet and shivering in a retention pond.

The Rehabilitation Process

At the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, the rescued cub has adjusted well. She is eating, playing with another orphaned cub, and showing promising signs of recovery. As Fox Weather reports, the refuge aims to release the cubs back into the wild in the fall, ensuring they are well-prepared for survival.

The rehabilitation process involves providing a specialized diet and minimizing human contact to prevent the cubs from becoming habituated to humans. This approach is crucial for their successful reintroduction into the wild. The refuge also ensures that the cubs gain sufficient weight and develop necessary survival skills before their release.

The rescued cub is now recovering at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge.
Photo: Pexels
The rescued cub is now recovering at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge.

Public Outcry and Legal Implications

The video of the incident went viral, sparking widespread outrage. Many people were appalled by the blatant disregard for wildlife. Help Asheville Bears founder Jody Williams condemned the act to People as “total selfishness,” emphasizing the need for education on coexisting with wildlife.

NCWRC officials confronted the individuals involved and informed them of the potential harm their actions could cause. However, no charges will be filed against them, as the investigation concluded without further legal action, Fox 8 reports.

Conservationists stress the importance of not disturbing wildlife.
Photo: Pexels
Conservationists stress the importance of not disturbing wildlife.

Wildlife Protection Guidelines

Wildlife experts advise the public to refrain from handling or approaching bear cubs or any other wild animals. If a cub appears to be alone, it is often not abandoned, ABC11 reports; the mother is usually nearby foraging for food. Interfering with the cub can inadvertently separate it from its mother and cause harm.

Importance of Responsible Wildlife Interaction

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of responsible behavior around wildlife. Trantham stressed that human interference often leads to negative outcomes for animals, highlighting the need for public awareness and education.

“We always want to see all wild animals left in the wild and be raised by their mothers,” she told ABC11.
The rescued cub’s recovery at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge is a hopeful outcome, but the incident underscores the need for greater public awareness and respect for wildlife.

By following guidelines and avoiding unnecessary interactions with wild animals, people can contribute to a healthier coexistence with nature.

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