June 19, 2024 at 2:40 pm

Tourists Caught Pulling Black Bear Cubs From Trees To Take Selfies

by Michael Levanduski


When out in nature, it is considered very lucky to be able to catch a glimpse of larger animals, and even more fortunate to see a baby animal out in the wild.

While most people know that it is important to leave animals, especially baby animals, alone and just watch them from a safe distance, others apparently haven’t learned this lesson.

This is what happened when a group of people in North Carolina came across two bear cubs in a tree.

Rather than watching them and taking some pictures, they decided that they would pull the cubs from the tree and take some selfies.

The event was filmed by someone who witnessed it, while wisely keeping their distance.

The witnesses contacted the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department, who reached out to the North Carolina Wildlife Agency, in order to investigate the situation and make sure the baby bears were okay.

Once the authorities were on site, they were told that the two cubs had managed to escape the group that was harassing them, and one of the cubs may have bitten someone (good for the cub!).

Source: Flickr

A wildlife agent found one of the cubs and brought it in for rehabilitation. Ashley Hobbs, the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission BearWise coordinator, released a statement, saying:

“The cub appeared to be lethargic and frightened. it looked to be favoring one of its front paws and was wet and shivering.”

Additional information was shared by James Tomberlin, the Mountain Operations Supervisor:

“Ashley and our enforcement staff searched the area for the second cub but did not locate it. Our hope is that it was able to reunite with the mother because it would not survive on its own at this young age.”

Interacting with bear cubs is not only a terrible idea because it can be dangerous for the cubs, but it also puts the humans at risk.

If the mother bear came along and found her cubs in distress, she would have attacked the humans. American black bears can reach over 7 feet tall when standing, and weigh around 300lbs.

They also have long claws and teeth that can quickly injure or even kill a person they feel is a threat. Colleen Olfenbuttel, the Game Mammals and Surveys Supervisors says:

“This time of year, mother bears are emerging from their den with their cubs that are experiencing the outside world for the first time and are very dependent on their mother to feed and protect them. People who try to capture or handle a cub are not only risking the cub’s safety, but their own if the mother bear is nearby, as she may try to defend her cubs.”

The following is the video of the people pulling these poor cubs out of the tree. Needless to say, we absolutely do not recommend doing anything like what these people have done.

If you see a baby bear in the wild only observe it from a distance.

I feel like this should be obvious.