Man Swaddles 'Dying' Bear Cub, Attempts CPR

Elkhorn, a baby black bear, was suffering form hypothermia, dehydration
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2017 6:15 PM CDT
Corey Hancock found a bear cub suffering from hypothermia and dehydration in the Oregon woods and brought it to an animal rehab facility.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – An Oregon man is being called a hero for saving the life of a bear cub he found while hiking Monday evening, but officials aren't so sure. Corey Hancock tells the Oregonian he found a baby black bear just off the trail that "wasn't breathing" and was "barely moving." He waited around for the mother bear for 10 minutes, but when she didn't show, Hancock swaddled the "dying" cub in his shirt and ran it back to his car. The cub—Hancock named it "Elkhorn" and attempted CPR "like it was a baby"—was treated at Turtle Ridge Wildlife Rehab. KGW reports Elkhorn was suffering form dehydration and hypothermia. He was revived with electrolytes and a heat blanket.

Elkhorn is now in the possession of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which warns people against "rescuing" baby animals they find in the wild. The department says the animals don't usually need rescuing, as it's common for young animals to be left alone for stretches of time. The department believes that's what happened with Elkhorn and his mother. The cub is too young to be put back into the wild; it will require human contact, bottle feeding, and a year of rehab. In fact, it's unclear if Elkorn will ever be released into the wild or if he'll have to spend the rest of his life in a zoo. While it's illegal for people to remove wildlife from their natural habitat, KOIN reports Hancock was let go with a warning from police. He maintains he did the right thing to save little Elkhorn's life. (Read more black bear stories.)

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