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Salem man not cited for picking up ailing bear cub

Officials: He thought he was helping

(Update: Hiker warned, not cited over bear cub actions)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - State authorities say a Salem man who found a 3-month-old black bear along a hiking trail and took it to a wildlife rehabilitation center has been warned but not cited.

KGW-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2oamvXa) Corey Hancock says he found the cub not moving and barely breathing Monday. He then took it to Turtle Ridge Wildlife Rehab, where the bear has been nursed back to health.

Wildlife officials say it's illegal to take wildlife out of their habitat, but Oregon State Police said Wednesday that Hancock won't be punished.

Sgt. James Halsey says the decision was made after authorities determined Hancock believed he was helping the bear cub without knowing the mother bear may have been nearby.

The cub is now in the custody of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Hancock spotted the bear while he was heading back from a hike Monday evening.

He tells the Oregonian/OregonLive (http://bit.ly/2ovUBRS) he found the cub not moving and barely breathing. He says he didn't see the bear's mother and waited around before finally taking the cub to Turtle Ridge Wildlife Rehab, which had been closed but opened up to accept and treat the bear.

Charles Harmansky-Johnson of Turtle Ridge says the bear has already shown significant signs of improvement.

Wildlife officials are urging those who come across what appear to be abandoned baby animals to call authorities before attempting to move them.


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