A photographer from Oregon named Corey Hancock went for a hike one morning near the Santiam River. It was a hike Corey did often, but one day, something different than usual occurred.Corey spotted a tiny black bear that looked hurt.Corey paused next to the bear. It was obvious to him that the little bear wasn’t going to make it.
The bear barely reacted and was extremely slim. Corey was convinced that his mother has abandoned him or was shot by hunters.“He was laying on his back,” Hancock said. “He barely moved.”At first, Corey didn’t know exactly how to respond. He decided to stick around for a bit and hide, to see if the mother would still show up.
After waiting about ten minutes with no sign of the bear’s mother, the little bear was almost lifeless.Corey quickly wrapped the animal in his shirt and carried it to his car for over a mile.The little bear seemed to be on its last legs, so Hancock provided CPR on the animal to keep it alive.He only needed one breath to resuscitate him.
Corey asked his Facebook friends if anyone knew what was going on with the bear and asked for advice.
Someone suggested that he’d bring the bear to the Turtle Ridge Wildlife Rehab, a center for wild animals. The center was normally closed, but made an exception and opened for Corey and the whelp.
The baby bear was immediately cared for and received a warm blanket and an injection. He started to warm up and breathe better again, and the caregivers of the Center stayed up the whole night to take care of the whelp.
Hancock visited the bear a few days after. He was thrilled to see a lively and healthy animal.
The center named the bear Elkhorn, and he started improving with the shelter’s help. Little Elkhorn certainly wouldn’t have survived without Corey’s help. Still, Corey took a big risk. He could have faced major fines and up to a year in jail. Luckily, Corey only received a warning this time.
Even knowing the consequences, Corey doesn’t regret his actions. When asked if he would do it again, he immediately said yes.