Sure, everyone claims to love cute little baby bears—but how far would you go to save one? Would you risk fines, jail time, and getting mauled to death by a protective mama bear? Would you give the bear cub mouth-to-mouth?
I ask because photographer Corey Hancock of Salem, Oregon, did all that and more. When rain forced him to turn back during a recent hike, he was shocked to find a black bear cub lying near his path. "It was laying on its back," he told Oregon Live, "barely moving. It twisted a couple times. Its paws weren't moving. It wasn't breathing. It was dying." He watched the cub for a while to see if any other bears were nearby, but none showed up—so he wrapped it in his flannel.
In the end, he was able to get the "a cold, severely dehydrated, emaciated, and lethargic" male cub to Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center, where he was soon stabilized. The bear is now in the custody of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife—which could have fined Hancock $6,000 for taking the bear from the woods, but hasn't. It also doesn't look as if he's facing jail for the offense.