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?
Lexile

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 (449)
  • Destiny-Abd
    10/28/2014 - 08:35 a.m.

    if i wan a police officer i will be scared to scoop up a bear and pick it up in a shopping basket i will be scared because it can bit you and stuff.

  • MS2000TACOS
    10/28/2014 - 08:36 a.m.

    Bears should be afraid of people because we kill millions of people and bears a year. And then they wont wonder into drug stores as often.

  • Jahaan-Abd
    10/28/2014 - 08:37 a.m.

    First i think that it was really nice that they took the bear instead of taking it to the wild . Also if i was in the same situation i would have done the same.

  • SA2001orange
    10/28/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    Bears should be afraid of people because bears would be given foods that they would normally have to find themselves and they would look up to humans for food instead of just searching for it. If they were afraid I think they would be less likely to go into drugstores, or any store for that matter.

  • JM2000Blue
    10/28/2014 - 08:41 a.m.

    I think bears should have fear of humans because if they are not they put themselves and the humans in danger. A bear running around a major city has the chance that wildlife officials will shoot it, and humans have a chance of being mauled. The bear probably would've not gone into the drugstore, mainly because drugstores have humans frequently coming in and out.

    • matthewv-jac
      11/18/2015 - 07:48 p.m.

      @JM2000Blue I agree. If bears have a fear of people, then it never would've wandered into the drug store in the first place.

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

    Bears shouldn't be afraid of people because bears are much stronger than humans.I would like to make a nother comment about why i think bears are not scared of people because bears are more bigger.A nother thing if a bear was scared he or she wouldn't enter a drug store.

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

    I don't think bears would fear people,but people should have called animal control because it is naturally uncommon for a bear to wander in a drug store.wildlife should be kept in their own habitat,and not wandering the citys.

  • Amy2005
    10/28/2014 - 11:36 a.m.

    Oh my gosh!!! That's hialraus!! If I owned that shop I would go CRAZY!!!! I would call Animal Control right away!! How did the bear get in the store anyway??? Well anyway that's just nuts!!

  • 21jlphal
    10/28/2014 - 11:55 a.m.

    This bear was probably getting a cough, and wanted some medicine to cure the cold haha! Well, they caught em' at least. There's nothing to be afraid of though, especially when it's just a cub.

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