Imagine coming home to a box with two puppies waiting inside.
Now imagine being told the box is actually filled with two bear cubs.
That’s what happened to a North Carolina man who called his local sheriff’s office last month to report a box with two puppies had been left at his residence, Camden County Sheriff Kevin Jones told USA TODAY in an email.
Deputies were called by the man and, “upon arrival, the deputies quickly determined that the alleged ‘puppies’ were actually two very young bear cubs. The caller stated he had left his residence for a short time and discovered the animals upon his return,” Jones said.
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Jones added it is unknown who left the box. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission was called by the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, NCWRC spokeswoman Jodie Owen said. A NCWRC law enforcement officer took the bears to a local district wildlife biologist.
The black bears are believed to be younger than three weeks old.
From there, the bears were taken to an experienced “black bear rehabber,” who specializes in caring for orphaned cubs, Owen said.
“Bear cubs of this age are extremely vulnerable, and survivability is not yet certain,” Owen said. “As with all cubs that are entered in the black bear rehabilitation program, all effort is underway to rehabilitate and return these cubs to the wild at the appropriate time.”
Black bears are common in eastern North Carolina (where Camden County is located) according to the NCWRC. The black bear is a “shy, non-aggressive animal that avoids human beings in most cases,” the organization posted in a wildlife profile.
The incident remains under investigation.