Despite facing criticism and the potential to have been fined up to $6,000 and face a year in jail, photographer Corey Hancock doesn’t regret his choice to save an abandoned bear cub that was barely alive when he found it while hiking in Oregon. He even says he would do it again, stating, “I didn’t have a choice. I wouldn’t have left it out there.”
“He seemed to be abandoned and dying. He was hardly moving at first when I walked up on him. I thought he was dead.”
After waiting for around 10 minutes after he discovered the bear to make sure there wasn’t a mother nearby, he scooped it up and headed for help.
Corey took the bear to a wildlife center where it was nursed back to health. He even had to temporarily give the cub CPR after it stopped breathing temporarily after he got to his car.
“Every time I thought he was dead, he would just breath once a minute,” he said.
It’s illegal to take wildlife out of its natural habitat and is punishable by a citation and a fine, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Due to the totality of circumstances, to include that the adult male subject thought he was helping the bear cub without knowledge that the mother bear may have been nearby, a criminal citation was not issued to the male subject,” said Sgt. James Halsey with OSP.
Despite the dangers involved in doing what Hancock did, it’s a difficult choice for sure. Nature has its on laws, but coming up on something like this, it’d be tough to abandon it and let it just die there.
“He was going to die. I think anybody who’s a decent human being would have picked that bear up and done the same thing I did.”