'...They took her by force' A Man's Fight to Get 'His' Bear Cub Back

'...They took her by force' A Man's Fight to Get 'His' Bear Cub Back

Imagine driving down the road and seeing a bear sitting in the truck next to you. It may be hard to believe, but it's been a common sight in Marshall for the past six months. That changed Monday, and a man is fighting to get his baby bear back.
I'm not gonna abandon her. I want to bring her back home.
MARSHALL, AR - Robert Baysinger loves "his" bear like a child.

"She's part of my family," he remarked. "She'll jump up in my arms. She'll lay down in my lap and take her a nap."

Baysinger lets her climb trees and they pick blackberries together.

He says he saved Savannah after she was caught in a prescribed burn. Trapped by fires, Baysinger says he could hear her screaming and found her alone.

"I picked it up. It couldn't walk," he explained. "Part of its fur had singed."

He tried to release her back in to the wild, but she kept coming back.

After six months with the bear cub he affectionately calls Savannah, Baysinger has become a bit attached.

However, he can barely keep himself together now that she's gone. On Monday afternoon he came home to no Savannah and a ticket taped to his door.

"I don't know where she's at at this time, but I know she's not where she can climb trees and pick blackberries," Baysinger said.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission along with Searcy County law enforcement took Savannah.

"She's crying. They came in there with total strangers..." Baysinger paused as he cried. "...And 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."

It's because of that difference, however, that Game and Fish says he simply can't have a bear.

"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."

Which is all beside the point because having a bear is simply illegal.

Baysinger says he planned to let Savannah go when mother nature, not the law, called. Now he has no plans on giving up on his little girl.

"Her mother abandoned her on account of fire," he said. "I'm not gonna abandon her. I want to bring her back home."

He said he was told the bear went to a nearby rehabilitative care home but they wouldn't tell him where.

Arkansas Game and Fish is working with Baysinger to see if maybe he can get some sort of visitation rights.

To see Baysinger's entire interview, head here.

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