Bear taken from human ‘parents’

first_imgFor nine days, Rocky and Jonathan Perkett heard a lone black bear cub wail from its hiding spot in a Coos County, Ore., logging site. They could drop a tree on it or rescue it. They chose the latter, and for two years the bear was like family. But when the authorities got wind of it, there was trouble a-bruin. The father and son named her Windfall and raised it for two years. They shared pizza and soda with the bear and gave her free rein of their home in the woods outside Coos Bay. The bear slept in Jonathan Perkett’s bed, took showers and even had her hair blow-dried, Rocky Perkett said. “We’re not lying about it,” said Rocky Perkett, 54. “We lived with her. We loved her. We treated her like a daughter.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week But that’s illegal in Oregon, and last week police raided their home and took Windfall. The men face possible charges for holding the bear without permits and in an unlicensed facility. “The law says you can’t hold wild animals in any way,” said Wildlife Administrator Ron Anglin of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Perketts maintain that Windfall never was “held” or locked in a cage. They simply opened their house to her, Rocky Perkett said. She could come and go at will, and even learned to work the doorknobs, he said. “Is there a law against a bear running around in your yard?” Perkett said. The Perketts plan to hire an attorney and hope a glitch in the Oregon State Police’s search warrant will get the case tossed out – and, in the best of cases, get Windfall returned to them. “Everything they done here was unlegal,” Rocky Perkett said. “Since it’s all unlegal, I hope they will bring her back.” No citations have been issued but holding a bear without a permit is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $6,350 fine. Meanwhile, the bear has been shipped to a California Department of Fish and Game holding facility, where it will remain until the case is concluded. The bear’s likely future is at a zoo or a permanent holding facility, Anglin said. The bear likes people too much to be released into the wild, he said. Perkett acknowledged there’s little chance of getting Windfall back. But he hopes good intentions and lack of understanding of the law will discourage prosecution. “We’re hicks. We’re mountain men,” Perkett said. “We took her because she was dying and we loved her. The only thing we did wrong was love one another.” Wildlife biologist Stuart Love, who helped tranquilize and seize the bear, said he doesn’t doubt it. He said people’s attachment to wild animals makes such seizures “the worst part of my job.” “You could see the hurt in those guys’ eyes when we took it,” Love said. “But there’s no way we could leave that bear with them. It could end up killing someone.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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