According to this story on ArkansasMatters.com, Robert Baysinger of Marshall, Arkansas rescued an injured black bear from a prescribed forest burn, nursed it back to health, and tried to give it back to the wild for six months. However, the bear continued to return and Basyinger grew attached, named it Savannah and treated it like a family pet–even taking it out to pick blackberries.
On September 9th the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission took the bear to a nearby rehabilitative care home, but wouldn’t tell Baysinger where, and taped a citation to his door.
Baysinger was distraught. “She’s crying. They came in there with total strangers…” Baysinger says in this video posted to the site. They “took her by force and put her in a strange place that she’s not used to. She’s crying. She cries just like a kid. There’s no difference from her and a small child other than she got claws and teeth.”
A report posted on ArkansasMatters.com by NBC affiliate KARK Channel 4 says that while the Game and Fish realizes Baysinger formed a personal attachment to the cub, keeping wildlife is simply illegal. Baysinger says he planned to give the bear back when Mother Nature, not the law, called, but he’s changed his mind and simply wants to bring the bear home.
“This is not only about his safety but the bear’s safety as well,” said Game and Fish spokesman Steve “Wildman” Wilson. “We all love bears. We all love wildlife. They’re cute and they’re cuddly but it’s called wildlife for a reason.”