- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says a malnourished, seriously underweight yearling bear cub found begging for food near a reservoir east of Sweet Home in the Willamette Valley is likely an example of people interfering with wild animals.

Wildlife veterinarian Colin Gillin believes the bear may have been taken from the wild as a cub last summer and then released before winter, after it became accustomed to humans. He says someone may have picked it up thinking it was orphaned, kept it temporarily, then returned it to the forest.

Oregon State Police collected the bear over the Memorial Day weekend after campers reported it. If it’s healthy, Gillin says he will seek an accredited zoo to take it.

Similar problems occur with deer fawns and other young wildlife. Officials say the mothers are usually nearby and will return if people are not around. They say if someone sees the parent killed or the animal is injured, call the Wildlife Department, the state police or a wildlife rehabilitator.

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