People Caught on Camera Removing Bear Cubs From Tree to Take Selfies With Them

People Caught on Camera Removing Bear Cubs From Tree to Take Selfies With Them
Credit: ABC 7 Chicago

In a somewhat surreal episode that blurs the line between internet virality and wildlife respect, a group of six individuals in North Carolina found themselves in hot water after pulling bear cubs from a tree for selfies. This scene unfolded near an apartment complex in Buncombe County, sparking significant backlash across social media platforms as the footage went viral.

The incident took place on a seemingly quiet Tuesday, but the actions of the group quickly disrupted the peace. As captured on video, members of the group could be seen extracting the cubs from their arboreal refuge and posing with them, an act that not only endangered the young bears but also showed a blatant disregard for wildlife safety. Notably, one cub was even dropped during the ordeal, adding to the distressing nature of the event.

The video triggered immediate public outrage and the intervention of authorities, including the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Ashley Hobbs, a special projects biologist with the commission, was one of the first on the scene. Upon arrival, she discovered one of the cubs, wet and cold, which had to be placed in a rehabilitation facility due to the trauma endured.

Hobbs and other wildlife officials confronted the group on-site, stressing the severe repercussions of their actions. They explained how such behavior could be potentially deadly, not just for the cubs, who were prematurely separated from their mother, but also for the individuals involved, had the mother bear been nearby during the rescue operation.

The public’s response was swift and scathing, with many calling for legal action against the selfie-seekers. Jody Williams, founder of Help Asheville Bears, expressed his dismay, emphasizing that the incident was a stark example of selfishness that goes against the principles of coexisting with wildlife.

This incident serves as a grim reminder of the consequences of wildlife interference fueled by the desire for social media recognition. It raises critical questions about our responsibility towards nature and the ethical boundaries that should govern our interactions with wild animals. As investigations continue, this case may prompt stronger measures to protect wildlife from similar reckless human behaviors in the future.