California Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing 2 Bear Cubs From Their Nest; Officials Reported That Mama Bear Was Never Found

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A Northern California man has pleaded guilty to taking two 4-week-old bear cubs from their mother’s den and obstructing wildlife officers, according to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW). 

According to the CDFW, Cody Dylon Setzer 29 took the baby bears out of their den by bringing them in a fallen tree across a forest road. Release Issued Tuesday.

Setzer called wildlife officials on March 9th 2019, informing them that he found the cubs on Highway 263 north from Yreka.

Officials claimed that Setzer’s story was true. “suspicious.”After they started to investigate, they discovered it was. Their report stated that there were no bear tracks or habitat at the spot Setzer claimed to have found them.

“Bear cubs are 100% dependent upon the sow and if they had been wandering on their own they wouldn’t have survived,”Capt. Patrick Foy, of the law enforcement division.

The department’s captain said a co-worker of Setzer’s was with Setzer when he found the cubs but had been cooperating with the authorities, and the co-worker took investigators to the location of the den site, which was located east of Salt Creek and Interstate 5 in Shasta County, about 90 miles south of where Setzer said he had found them. Foy claimed that the area had been destroyed and that the mother of Setzer’s cubs was not found.

Officials said both men work at a local timber management company.

The bear cubs were transported to CDFW’s Wildlife Health Laboratory in Rancho Cordova and transported to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care (LTWC) for rehabilitation.

According to the LTWC, the cubs were the youngest wildlife ever brought to their facility. Once the cubs were nursed back to health and grew strong enough to survive on their own, they were returned to their native habitat in Shasta County in April 2020, wildlife experts said.

According to the release, Setzer pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited species and obstruction of a peace officer during the course of his duties in Siskiyou Superior Court in November.

Setzer was ordered to pay $2,290 in fines and fees and complete 200 hours of community service. Setzer was placed on probation for 12 consecutive months, with his hunting- and fishing privileges being suspended for the duration. Additionally, he was also sentenced to 90 days in the county jail, which will be stayed if he successfully completes probation, CDWF said, the release said.

The CDWF posted on Tuesday that the CDWF had uploaded Blog The public is encouraged to report any poaching, polluting, or fish and wildlife violations they observe or have any information about.

You can reach them at their toll-free phone number 1-888 334-CALTIP (888-334-2258)You can reach us at, open seven days per week, twenty-four hours a day.

CDWF states that anonymous tips can also be submitted to them tip411. They said that once the tip has been submitted, a wildlife officer would respond. TIPS can also be sent to the CDFW via text by texting “CALTIP”, followed by a space and the message, to 847411 (tip411).