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Bear cub spends night in police station

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Police in southern Oregon held an unlikely suspect overnight: an adorable black bear cub.

Myrtle Creek Police Chief Don Brown says a teen boy and his parents dropped off the cub in a large plastic storage bin at the police station Monday. The teen found the small animal whimpering in the bushes outside his house on the outskirts of town.

He told police the bear's mother was nowhere in sight.

Still, Brown said it was dangerous for the teen to pick up the cub, because the mother bear could have spotted him and attacked. Adult female black bears can weigh up to 300 pounds.

The 12-pound cub was "very well behaved" while spending the night at the station, Brown said.

Police and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials looked for the cub's mother the next day using a device that mimics a cub distress call, but couldn't find her.

The orphaned cub is now at the University of Oregon receiving a veterinary checkup. Fish and Wildlife officials said the cub is a female and is in generally good health, other than being underweight.

They said the cub will be placed at a zoo, but they didn't yet know which one.

Oregon is home to 25,000 to 30,000 black bears. Myrtle Creek, 90 miles south of Eugene, has an abundance of wildlife, the police chief said. Residents often call authorities about bear and cougar sightings.

"We've had two baby rattlesnakes brought into the station, but nobody has brought in a bear in the last nine years I've been here," Brown said.

Wildlife officials say they do not know what happened to the cub's mother. Spring bear hunting season kicked off April 1 in Oregon, but it's illegal to kill sows with cubs that are less than a year old.

Officials say no dead bear has been found in the area, no hunter has reported killing one, and there have been no reports of a bear being hit by a car.

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wightmanme May 23 2014 at 7:01 AM

Ugh. A ZOO? So the poor little thing will live in a concrete closet for the rest of its life? Doesn't really sound like much of a happy ending to me.

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46 replies
hey May 23 2014 at 8:53 AM

i think this baby bear should be sent to a animal refuge station where he could be raised but not tamed and when big enough and able to take care of himself set free, i like zoos and think they have helped keep some species alive, this baby should be freed

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14 replies
rlmcanoe May 23 2014 at 6:01 AM

of course no one is going to admit to killing the mother bear, it's illegal as you say

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7 replies
faithrada May 23 2014 at 7:34 AM

Since the cub was underweight it is likely that something happened to the mom I would think. It's always sad when one sees a dead female animal of any kind in the spring... hit by cars, etc. since it is likely there are babies somewhere. This little one was lucky to be taken in. Cudos to that teen for caring enough to act.

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2 replies
baggersrnutz faithrada May 23 2014 at 9:56 AM

Bears dont have litters, only one or two cubs at a time !

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11 replies
rpthe1 faithrada May 23 2014 at 8:58 PM

it's possible the mother abandon the cub. It does happen.

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1 reply
irmgrm rpthe1 May 23 2014 at 10:30 PM

I agree with you.

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s1n2i3p4e5 May 23 2014 at 6:40 AM

you say you hope it does well in a zoo , lets put your ass in a cage form the time that you are 12 weeks old until you die

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14 replies
hattie54 May 23 2014 at 8:12 AM

Too bad this litte bear couldn't be taken to APR in Tenn ( too far anyway ).Appalachian Bear Resuce is on FB and do a wonderful job.They return the baby bears to the wild.

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9 replies
mytime2dance312 May 23 2014 at 6:11 AM

Awwww so cute.........It would be a shame to let it back in the wild without really knowing about its mother's fate. What if shes dead and hauled off? And this poor little thing is prey to something else? Sad situation............bottle feed it until its old enough to fend for its self and set it free back in the area it was found. They are so adorable at this age. I wish it well and hope they take good care of this innocent baby.

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14 replies
LA is Best May 23 2014 at 7:31 AM

oBOMBa said if he had a son it would have looked like the cub!

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32 replies
BOB May 23 2014 at 7:02 AM

" very well behaved " Ok , so it didn't bite anyone or scratch . Maybe it was reacting instinctually to type A personalities cops have much like a mother bear . I have seen this in many different animals that I have had to deal with . Animals as humans have several types of personality , and recognition of whom is where on dominance level react by their perception . A whimpering cub would typically be attended to by the mother fairly quickly , so I'd bet on the mother being dead considering story given . ( Lost cubs happen in Disney movies and odds are against it in reality ) . Some of the people making comments here are a little lost in their mentality as my wife was when we were in Gatlinburg hiking and came across a 5 month old bear and its mother 50 yards away . Wife steps towards bear for picture and I'm grabbing her arm quietly telling her to move back . Mother was watching closely and made her presence known .

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3 replies
whdlsn May 23 2014 at 6:07 AM

The bears around Myrtle Creek usually only tip over the garbage cans once in a while. The cougars will eat the house cats and smaller dogs if given the chance.Years ago, several people in the County kept bears as pets. Lou Franko's bear rode in his logging truck with him, this was back in the late fifties to early sixties. Wes Smith had one and it would drink with him and his buddies on Friday/Saturday nights. That bear imbibed a little too much one night and expired.

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5 replies
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