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Man Admits Taking Bear Cubs From Den

But he had to turn to California wildlife officials for help before too long
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2022 6:40 PM CDT
Man Admits Taking Bear Cubs From Den
This undated photo provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife shows the two bear cubs.   (CDFW) via AP)

(Newser) – A Northern California man who admitted to taking two bear cubs from their den and notified officials after he was unable to care for them pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited species, wildlife officials said. Cody Dylon Setzer, 29, and a co-worker who has not been identified and cooperated with authorities took the month-old bears from their den in a tree that had fallen across a forest road, said the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, per the AP. Setzer contacted wildlife officers on March 9, 2019, and told them he had found the baby bears along Highway 263 north of Yreka in Siskiyou County. His story later unraveled.

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. The cubs' mother was never located. The bear cubs were taken to CDFW’s Wildlife Health Laboratory in Rancho Cordova and later turned over for rehabilitation to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, which said they were the youngest ever brought into its facility. The cubs were returned to their native habitat in Shasta County on April 28, 2020, after growing old enough to survive on their own, the department said.

Setzer pleaded guilty in Siskiyou Superior Court to possession of a prohibited species and obstructing a peace officer in the course of his duties. He was ordered to pay $2,290 in fines and fees and complete 200 hours of community service. Setzer was also placed on probation for 12 months with his hunting and fishing privileges suspended for the duration of his probation, and sentenced to 90 days in the county jail, which will be stayed if he successfully completes probation, the department said.

(Read more bears stories.)

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