What happens after a bear wanders into a drugstore? A bear cub walking through a Rite Aid store in Ashland, Oregon (AP Photo / Robin Bishop)
What happens after a bear wanders into a drugstore?
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A black bear cub found wandering the aisles of a drugstore will be raised with the goal of releasing her into the wild next year.

Police scooped the cub into a shopping basket Sunday at a Rite-Aid store in Ashland. Shoppers took video on their smartphones.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the bear has been taken to the PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood, Washington. Director Jennifer Convy says rehabilitation staff care for bears with hands-off methods designed to mimic conditions in the wild. These conditions maintain an animal's fear of people.

The department says it hopes to release the bear somewhere in southern Oregon next spring.

According to KGW-TV, veterinarians estimate the cub, which weighs 13 pounds, to be only about a couple of months old. Biologists don't know what happened to her mother. The local bear population is healthy, so bear sightings are common in the area, but no recent sow deaths have been reported, according to ODFW.

Initially, authorities said it would not be possible to return the cub to the wild, because of her contact with humans. The veterinarians at PAWS feel she has a chance with the right kind of rehabilitation.

"Bears are given diets filled with natural foods they would normally forage for in the wild," said Jennifer Convy, PAWS wildlife director. "Rehabilitated bears maintain their natural fear of humans and don't become habituated to people."

Critical thinking challenge: Why should bears be afraid of people? If bears are afraid of people, are they less likely to wander into drugstores?

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COMMENTS (81)
  • SeanW15
    10/28/2014 - 08:17 a.m.

    I think bears should be afraid of people to keep them how they should be wild and not tamed. If the bear stays wild then if he released back into the wild he wont find his way back to civilization and wander into a drug store. I like what they are doing by putting him into a environment like how the bear should be in.

  • r2000soccer
    10/28/2014 - 08:40 a.m.

    bears be afraid of people Director Jennifer Convy says rehabilitation staff care for bears with hands-off methods designed to mimic conditions in the wild. These conditions maintain an animal's fear of people.

  • sl2000soccer
    10/28/2014 - 08:41 a.m.

    Bears should be afraid of people because if they are, it is safer for them as well as the people. If you are caught seeing a bear, your natural instinct is to either freeze or run. If you freeze, the bear is less likely to see you, but if you don't know any better and you run, the bear may chase after you. Yes, if bears are afraid of people, they are less likely to wander in to drug stores because they would not want to be by the people at all.

  • JS2001basketball
    10/28/2014 - 08:43 a.m.

    Bears should be afraid of people so they don't keep coming in neighborhoods like that's their habitat because bears cant survive in a human habitat

  • codyh-Man
    10/28/2014 - 10:04 a.m.

    The cub probably scared a lot of people; I Bet the momma bear is worried about her cub. I hope the cub get released soon.

  • sparkle345
    10/28/2014 - 11:51 a.m.

    Wow! I have never seen anything like this before! I think bears are so cute but at the same time I am scared of them. I am wondering how did he even get in the drug store? I do not know what I would do if if I saw a bear in any store! I think it would be cool and scary at the same time!I would probely go up to it and try to pet it. Though I do not think that is the best answer.

  • LDakota-Sti
    10/28/2014 - 12:21 p.m.

    I guess the black bear needed something for his I can't bear headache =-)
    Well I'd be a little scared if a bear was walking next to me in a store but the bear seemed harmless must of lost its mamma.

  • lacey.potter70
    10/28/2014 - 12:43 p.m.

    I think that bears should be afraid of humans because they could kill the bear if it gets too close. Also, if bears aren't afraid of people they are more likely to attack. If bears attack people, people will fear bears and see them as a bigger threat. It would help bears and humans if bears were afraid of people.

  • Bellap-Fre
    10/28/2014 - 12:53 p.m.

    According to the text this bear was only 13 pounds! That is crazy that little cub was only a couple months old and looked about the size of a medium dog. I think it is so cute that, that little cub just wandered right into that drug store. He probably had no clue where he/she was going. Poor little animal.

  • Stephenpa-Fre
    10/28/2014 - 12:53 p.m.

    what happens when a black bear gets into a drugstore? well nothing really bad happen to the bear or the store or anyone in the store at the time. the bear did not do much and it is now safe in some where else. its just good no one or nothing got hurt in this activity.

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