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Man Fighting for Return of Bear Cub He Rescued, Raised

Most people react to a bear the same way - fear. But in Marshall, for the past six months, one man has lived with one.
Most people react to a bear the same way - fear.

But in Marshall, for the past six months, one man has lived with one.

That man is now fighting to get his baby bear back.

"She's part of my family," Robert Baysinger said.

Baysinger loves what he calls "his" bear like a child.

"She'll jump up in my arms," he said. "She'll lay down in my lap and take her a nap."

He lets her climb trees, and they pick blackberries together.

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

And he can barely keep himself together now that she's gone.

On Monday afternoon, he came home to 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.

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

"She's crying. They came in there with total strangers," he said. "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 though that game and fish commission says he can't have a bear.

"This is not only about his safety but the bear's safety as well," said

Which is all beside the point because having a bear is against the law.

"We all love bears," he said. "We all love wildlife. They're cute, and they're cuddly, but it's called wildlife for a reason. At one point this is going to be a full grown bear."

Baysinger says he planned to let Savannah go when Mother Nature, not the law, called.


"Her mother abandoned her on account of fire," Baysinger said.

And now he has no plans on giving up on his little girl.

"I'm not gonna abandon her. I want to bring her back home."

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

Otherwise, he says he will continue to fight to get her back, and for that matter, fight the ticket.

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