On Tuesday, a man was found guilty of stealing bear cubs from their den. In 2019, Cody Dylon Setzer, 29, and a co-worker were working for a timber management company. They stumbled upon a den and saw the two cubs. Instead of leaving the family alone, they snatched the cubs for themselves.
On March 9th, 2019, Setzer called the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He told the officials that he found the cubs on the side of the road. After the authorities could find no den or bear tracks, they became suspicious of his story. Setzer’s co-worker decided to cooperate with the authorities and showed them the correct location. This was 90 miles away from where Setzer said he found the cubs.
In November, Cody Dylon Setzer pleaded guilty in Siskiyou Superior Court. He was charged with possession of a prohibited species and obstructing a peace officer. Setzer is ordered to pay $2,290 in fined and fees and complete 200 hours of community service. During his 12 month probation his fishing and hunting license is also suspended.
Where are the Cubs?
What happened to the stolen cubs? CDFW’s Wildlife Health Laboratory in Rancho Cordova evaluated the two cubs. They said they were the smallest they have seen. Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care took them in for rehabilitation. On April 28, 2020, they were released back into their habitat. Perhaps one day they will meet up with their mother again.
The mortal of the story is, never take away an animal from its mother. Stealing bear cubs from their mom will prevent them from thriving and being with their kind. If anything, just think of someone stealing you from your mom. Maybe that will make you change your mind. Raising a cub might seem cute for the first five minutes but they require constant feeding, warmth and clean environment. If you do stumble upon an orphaned animal, you need to call your wildlife protection agency.