selfies with bear cubs

Group Taking Selfies with Bear Cubs in North Carolina

A video surfaced on Tuesday showing a group taking selfies with bear cubs. The video came from Berrington Village Apartments, where the witness saw a group of people pulling down black bear cubs from a tree branch. They didn’t grab the bears to rescue them or help, they took them to take selfies with them. At one point, a woman drops a cub and it tries to run away over the fence. They run after it and the video cuts off.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission special projects biologist Ashley Hobbs said they were informed about the issue on Tuesday and investigated the situation. When they arrived at the scene there was one timid and scared bear. She noted that it was wet and alone for a long time. While the video showed multiple bears, there was only one left at the scene. Hobbs also said; “We do think that the bear probably had a pretty traumatic experience.” The small cub was taken to a rehab facility where it was evaluated. Once it is ready, they will release it back into the wild, where the wild belongs.

Hobbs said it was frustrating watching the video since she preaches daily on how people and wildlife need to coexist. She goes on to say that they did confront the group taking selfies with bear cubs. “We did confront them on site that day and let them know how irresponsible and potentially deadly it could be for that cub to be separated from its mom, especially ripped out of a tree like that.” Since only one cub was found at the scene, the mom could have come back and only taken the other bear. They left the cub vulnerable and alone, instead of being with its mother and siblings.

The founder of Help Asheville Bears, Jody Williams, was also frustrated at the situation. He said that the video gave him anxiety and he felt horrible for the cubs. He could not believe this was done to the cubs just for selfie purposes. Williams goes on to say, “It’s just ignorance, total selfishness, this is not what we talk about when we talk about coexisting.” He would like people to take this as an educational moment of exactly what not to do.

Black Bears in America

North America is home to black bears and brown bears. There are around 600,000 black bears in all of North America, including parts of Mexico and Canada. There are an estimated 20,000 bears found in North Carolina. April is the season when bears leave their dens and venture out for food with their cubs. If you encounter a black bear during spring, it is best to leave it alone and stay out of its way. A mother bear will charge if she believes her cubs are in danger.

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