California Man Pleads Guilty To Taking Two Baby Bears from Their Den, Notifies Authorities After He Was Unable To Care for Cubs

 California Man Pleads Guilty To Taking Two Baby Bears from Their Den, Notifies Authorities After He Was Unable To Care for Cubs

Photo by: AP

According to officials, Cody Dylon Setzer, 29, contacted wildlife officers after he was unable to care for the cubs.

Wildlife officials said a man from Northern California pleaded guilty to possessing a restricted species after admitting to taking two baby bears from their den and notifying authorities when he was unable to care for them.

The month-old cubs were taken from their burrow in a tree that had fallen across a forest road by Cody Dylon Setzer, 29, and a coworker who has not been identified but has cooperated with authorities, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Setzer phoned wildlife authorities on March 9, 2019, and informed them that he had discovered the cub bears along Highway 263 north of Yreka in Siskiyou County, the department said.

However, when wildlife officers went to the site and found no bear tracks or habitat, they were suspicious of his story.

“Bear cubs are 100 percent dependent upon the sow and if they had been wandering on their own they wouldn’t have survived,” said Capt. Patrick Foy of the department’s law enforcement division.

According to Foy, Setzer’s coworker at a timber management company confessed to wildlife officers and assisted with the investigation. “The other person literally brought them back to the den site,” he said.

The den site was located east of Salt Creek and Interstate 5 in Shasta County, about 90 miles south of where Setzer said he had found them and had been destroyed. According to Foy, their mother was never found.

As per 10 News, the bear cubs were escorted to the CDFW‘s Wildlife Health Laboratory in Rancho Cordova before being given over to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care for rehabilitation, where they were described as the youngest bear cubs ever brought into the institution.

After growing old enough to survive on their own, the cubs were reintroduced to their native habitat in Shasta County on April 28, 2020, according to the department.

The department published the story Tuesday on its blog about bears to encourage anyone who sees wildlife poaching to contact authorities.

Setzer pled guilty to possession of a restricted species and impeding a peace officer in the course of his duties in Siskiyou Superior Court in November.

He was sentenced to pay a total of $2,290 in fines and costs, as well as 200 hours of community service. Setzer was also sentenced to 90 days in the county

jail, which will be stayed if he successfully completes probation, and was placed on probation for 12 months with his hunting and fishing privileges suspended for the term of his probation, according to the department.

Report by: The Associated Press

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