A California Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Two Bear Cubs From Their Den; Authorities Said Mama Bear Was Never Found.


According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, a Northern California man has pled guilty to removing two 4-week-old bear cubs from their mother’s den and impeding wildlife officers (CDFW).

Cody Dylon Setzer, 29, was recognised as the man who abducted the cub bears from their den in a tree that had fallen across a woodland road, the CDFW stated in a release on Tuesday.

The event occurred on March 9, 2019, when Setzer contacted wildlife officials to report finding the cubs along Highway 263 north of Yreka.


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Officials described Setzer’s account as “strange.” They discovered that it was when they began their investigation. According to their assessment, no bear tracks or habitat had been discovered at the spot where Setzer said he discovered them.

“Bear cubs are completely reliant on their mother and would not have survived on their own,” said Capt. Patrick Foy of the department’s legal enforcement division.

The department’s captain stated that a coworker of Setzer was with him when he discovered the cubs but was cooperating with authorities, and the coworker led investigators to the den site, which was located east of Salt Creek and Interstate 5 in Shasta County, about 90 miles south of where Setzer claimed to have discovered them. Foy stated that the habitat had been ruined and the mother of the cubs had never been identified.

Both men, according to officials, work for a local wood management company.

The bear cubs were transferred to the CDFW’s Wildlife Health Laboratory in Rancho Cordova before being rehabilitated at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care (LTWC).

According to the LTWC, the cubs were the facility’s youngest wildlife ever. After being nursed back to health and becoming strong enough to survive on their own, the cubs were released into their natural environment in Shasta County in April 2020, wildlife specialists said.

Setzer pled guilty in November in Siskiyou Superior Court to possessing a restricted species and obstructing a peace officer in the performance of his duties, according to officials.

Setzer was ordered to pay a total of $2,290 in fines and penalties, as well as perform 200 hours of community service. He was also placed on 12-month probation and his hunting and fishing licences were suspended during that time. Additionally, he was sentenced to 90 days in county jail, which will be suspended if he successfully completes probation, according to CDWF.

On Tuesday, the CDWF published a blog post encouraging the public to contact authorities promptly if they witness a poaching or polluting incident, or any other fish and wildlife infringement, or have knowledge about such a violation.


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Their 24-hour, seven-day-a-week toll-free hotline is 1-888 334-CALTIP (888-334-2258).

According to CDWF, anonymous tips can also be submitted via tip411. They stated that after the tip is submitted, a wildlife officer will reply. Text tips to 847411 by texting “CALTIP” followed by a space and the message (tip411).

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