Shoppers at a drug store in southern Oregon were joined by an unusual companion seen wandering the aisles this past week: a black bear cub.
The 13-pound female cub walked into a Rite Aide in Ashland, Oregon, on Sunday and was caught on cellphone video walking around the store, appearing bewildered.
Before visiting the Rite Aid, the bear had wandered through an open door at a nearby Super 8 motel, local television station KOBI reported. At the Rite Aid, police were able to capture the bear in a shopping basket, according to KOBI.
In cellphone video taken by Robin Bishop, the bear looks warily back at a police officer and then runs down the greeting card aisle toward Bishop. A few seconds later, the bear pads toward the camera and runs away through the soda aisle.
The bear’s capture was not shown on the video.
The bear will be cared for without human contact and given foods she would eat in a natural environment. Oregon wildlife officials hope to release the cub into “suitable habitat” in southern Oregon next spring, the department said in a news release.
Though the cub was found to be a “little thin,” her condition was “guarded to good,” the Oregon wildlife department stated.
The bear could be underweight because she was born later than usual or because her growth has been stunted, the department said. Most black bear cubs are born in January.
A blood test was expected to provide more details on the cub’s health.
It was not clear what happened to the bear’s mother, and the department said it had no reports of a sow killed.
Bear sightings are common in the Ashland area, which has a healthy black bear population the department said.