Corey Hancock was heading home after photographing waterfalls near the north fork of the Santiam River on Monday night when he spotted a bear cub 2 feet off the Elkhorn trail.
“He looked dead,” the Salem, Oregon, man told KGW. “His eyes were gray. He was laying there on his back with his paws out.”
Hancock waited for 10 minutes to see if momma bear was around, then he did what experts tell you not to do. He picked up the bear cub, wrapped it in a flannel shirt and started driving toward Salem in search of a wildlife rehabilitation center.
While Harmansky-Johnson labeled Hancock a hero, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said it is illegal to take wildlife out of their habitat, an action that is punishable by a citation and possibly a fine.
State wildlife veterinarian Dr. Colin Gillin told KGW that the cub was likely with its mother before it was found, adding that it is typical for the mother to leave her young for hours to forage for food.
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