YREKA, Calif. – A man from Northern California pleaded guilty to illegally taking two bear cubs from their den.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said 29-year-old Cody Dylon Setzer of Yreka took the baby bears after finding their den in a fallen log on a forest road.
Setzer reportedly called wildlife officials on March 9, 2019, claiming he found the cubs along Highway 263 north of Yreka. However, a wildlife officer grew suspicious of his story when no bear tracks or habitat was found where Setzer said he found them.
The cubs were taken to CDFW’s Wildlife Health Laboratory where it was determined through DNA samples that the bears were likely born in northern Shasta County, 90 miles south of where Setzer claimed he found them.
During the investigation, officers reportedly found out Setzer and a co-worker at a local timber company took the cubs from inside a tree that had fallen across a worksite access road east of Interstate 5 near Salt Creek. The mother was never found.
The cubs were eventually turned over to a wildlife rehabilitation center and later returned to their native habitat in Shasta County in April 2020.
Late last year, Setzer pleaded guilty in a Siskiyou County court to possession of a prohibited species and obstructing a peace officer. He was ordered to pay over $2,000 in fines and complete 200 hours of community service.
If you witness a poaching or polluting incident, or any fish and wildlife violation, or have information about such a violation, immediately dial the toll-free CalTIP number 1-888 334-CALTIP (888-334-2258), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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