Corey Hancock was out for a hike when he says he found a little black bear cub “left for dead” and barely breathing.
"I tried to give it CPR,” Hancock tells Inside Edition. “I gave it a few rescue puffs and pushed on his chest. He took one breath. He was fighting to survive."
After looking around for its mother, he scooped up the baby bear and took it to the Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center in Salem, Oregon. Caregivers there say the cub, who they named Elkhorn because of the area where he was found, was malnourished and in need of medical care.
After receiving some fluids, the baby bear started feeling better and is now recovering at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Many on social media hailed Hancock as a hero for taking charge and rescuing the little furball.
But authorities aren’t so grateful and now Hancock could face misdemeanor charges.
Oregon Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy tells the Daily News that what Hancock thought was being helpful could actually hurt the cub in the long run. Bears learn vital survival skills when they are young and now that Elkhorn has been plucked from the wild, he may have to spend the rest of his life in a zoo.
Hancock could be charged for ‘capturing’ or ‘holding’ an animal captive without a permit, which is a misdemeanor in Oregon. If he is charged he could be fined $6,250 and face up to a year in jail.
The 41-year-old still thinks he did the right thing.
“What would you have done if you were in my boots?” Hancock writes in a Facebook post.
***UPDATE: According to Inside Edition, police have decided not to charge Hancock, saying he had good intentions. He was let off with a warning.