People Caught Yanking Bear Cubs Out of Tree to Take Selfies With Them

A group of people were filmed tearing three bear cubs out of a tree so that they could pose for selfies with them.

In disturbing footage, six people are seen pulling the bear cubs out of a tree near Berrington Village Apartments in Buncombe County, North Carolina on Tuesday.

According to ABC13 News, one bear cub had to be taken to a rehabilitation center as a result of the traumatic incident.

In the clip, the six individuals work together to rip the first cub out of the tree, despite meeting with resistance from the animal.

After grabbing the first cub, one member of the group appears jubilant and she leaps up and down in excitement while holding the bear in her arms. They then get ready to pose and take selfies with it.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group of six people continue to try to tear the last two remaining bear cubs from the tree. In the footage, one individual drops the cub as she passes it to another person for photographs.

The bear cub then immediately flees from the group of people in terror, running and trying to get back over the fence presumably so it can be with the other cubs again.

‘A Pretty Traumatic Experience’

Ashley Hobbs, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission special projects biologist, tells ABC13 News that the shocking video was reported to the commission on Tuesday and authorities were called in to intervene.

Hobbs adds that it’s not uncommon during this time of year for a female to drop their cubs off in a safe tree and then return later to them.

While multiple cubs are seen in the video, Hobbs says that when she arrived on scene there was only one cub left. Hobbs described the cub as being very wet and cold.

It had reportedly been alone for quite some time after being pulled out of its tree. The bear cub is now in a rehab facility and will eventually be released back into the wild.

“We do think that the bear probably had a pretty traumatic experience,” Hobbs says.

The Popularity of ‘Bad’ Wildlife Selfies

According to a study by World Animal Protection, the popularity of wildlife selfies is contributing to the exploitation of animals.

In a 2017 report, researchers at World Animal Protection analyzed wildlife selfies on social media and discovered a 292% increase in the number of wildlife selfies posted on Instagram between 2014 and 2017.

Furthermore, World Animal Protection described 40% of the images posted as “bad selfies” — meaning someone hugging, holding, or inappropriately interacting with a wild animal.

A “good” wildlife selfie was described as a picture where there is no contact between an animal and a human, and the animal is not being restrained or held in captivity to be used as a photo prop.

In some individual cases, the compulsion of people to pose for photographs with wild animals has caused direct harm to the creatures.

PetaPixel previously reported on a pair of tourists who accidentally killed a seal pup after dragging the animal from the ocean so they could take a selfie with it.

Image credits: Feature photo licensed via Depositphotos.