Hiker performs mouth-to-mouth CPR to save dying bear, despite risking jail time

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A young man by the name of Corey Hancock was hiking in the Oregon woods when he came across a bear cub that appeared to be struggling for its life, if not already dead.

A young man by the name of Corey Hancock was hiking in the Oregon woods when he came across a bear cub that appeared to be struggling for its life, if not already dead.%image_alt%

In a long Facebook post, he described the state the poor cub was in when he stumbled upon it.

“[It was] laying there on his back, seeming by all appearances to be dead. His lips were blue. His eyes were open, but unmoving and hazy. The rain was pouring down, drenching his belly. I might have seen a shallow breath.”

“Now, I’ve trained my whole life to be observant of my environment, to notice the small details along my path,” he continued. “This cub definitely hadn’t been there when I’d passed a half hour earlier. So where did he come from?”

“A fear started to hit me. Wouldn’t his mother be close by? This was the kind of situation that ends up in documentaries about animal attacks. How many people have been mauled after accidentally encountering a black bear cub on the trail? I’ve hiked all over the Pacific Northwest, and never come across a bear before. It wasn’t a possibility I’d ever given much thought to, even though I’d seen signs of their presence on occasion. I definitely wasn’t prepared to deal with a protective mama.”

It was thoughts about his own baby boy that compelled him to act. He couldn’t just do nothing and watch it die in the rain, so he decided to help – regardless of the potentially dangerous consequences.

He took the bear in his arms and ran back to his car.

“The whole time, I was sure a raging mother bear would come for me.”

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By the time they had reached his car, he feared the worst as it had stopped breathing. In a panic, he began performing mouth-to-mouth CPR on the cub. Thankfully, it started breathing again.%image_alt%

“I had to pull over and administer mouth-to-mouth one more time along our route, when the cub seemed entirely lifeless. Somehow though, he managed to survive, even while his single breaths came at almost one-minute intervals.”

He knew the bear needed proper help and tried to take him to several vets. They all declined to take the poor baby cub in as he was a wild animal.

A friend then suggested that he take it to a wildlife center. He found one that had an on-site carer who was able to help.

When he arrived, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was also there to greet him. Corey potentially could have been hit with over $6 000 in fines for helping the bear, or even be sent to jail for over a year.

Thankfully, they didn’t press charges and the bear is well on his way to recovery.
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Corey named the bear “Elkhorn” after the area it was found.

In his Facebook post, he added, “Chances are, Elkhorn is going to end up in some kind of facility, whether it be a zoo, or a wildlife sanctuary. I learned that there are some rather nice places where the ODFW could re-wild a rescue bear. None of them are in the Willamette Valley, where he’s from, but that hardly matters. My hope is only that Elkhorn be allowed to survive, and to thrive, somewhere among us… preferably a place where he can have a rich life experience.”


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