A Northern California man has pleaded guilty to taking two bear cubs from their den, wildlife officials said Tuesday.

The man, 29-year-old Cody Dylon Setzer, took their bear cubs after finding the den in a fallen log across a forest road, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The cubs were less than four weeks old when they were taken.

Wildlife officials found out about the cubs in March 2019, when Setzer called claiming he had found them along the roadside on Highway 263 north of Yreka.

But a wildlife officer grew suspicious of Setzer’s story when no bear tracks or habitat were found nearby.

Using DNA samples, wildlife scientists in Rancho Cordova found out that the bears were likely born in the Sacramento River canyon in Shasta County — more than 90 miles from where Setzer claimed he had found them.

Wildlife officers later found out that Setzer and his co-worker had taken the cubs from their den east of Salt Creek and Interstate 5.

The co-worker ended up taking officers to the destroyed den site, from where they collected evidence, but the mother bear was never found.

The cubs were turned over to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care for rehabilitation before being returned to their native habitat in April 2020.

The cubs were the youngest ever brought to the facility and couldn’t be released until they were old enough to survive on their own.

Setzer pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited species and obstructing a peace officer in the course of his duties on Nov. 17, 2021.

He was also being prosecuted for a separate case and received a combined sentencing of 200 hours of community service and had to pay $2,290 in fines and fees.

He was also placed on 12-month probation and had his hunting and fishing privileges suspended.

The wildlife department shared the story on its website Tuesday, asking anyone who witnesses wildlife poaching or wildlife violations to call authorities.

Anyone who witnesses a poaching or polluting incident, or any fish and wildlife violation can call the toll free CalTIP number 1-888 334-CALTIP (888-334-2258), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.