September 12th, 2013
01:23 PM ET

Man Fights to Get His Beloved Pet Bear Back

An Arkansas man is devastated after state officials came and took the baby bear he's raised for the last 6 months. He says he loves the bear as if it were his child, and now he's fighting to get her back, CNN's Michaela Pereira reports.

To Robert Baysinger, Savannah is more than just a bear cub, she is family.

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

Baysinger first found Savannah 6 months ago when he rescued her from the middle of a controlled fire.

The 2 have been inseparable ever since, even climbing trees and picking blackberries together. But all of that changed when he came home on Monday and found a ticket taped to his front door, and Savannah gone.

The ticket was from Arkansas Game and Fish, who, along with law enforcement, took her away, citing it illegal to have a pet bear.

According to Arkansas Game and Fish, "We all love bears. We all love wildlife. They're cute and they're cuddly but it's called wildlife for a reason."

Baysinger planned to release Savannah back into the wild once she got older. He says he tried before, but she kept coming back. Now he is not giving up without a fight.

Officials say the bear went to a nearby rehab facility, but they refused to tell Baysinger exactly where. Arkansas Game and Fish says it is up to the rehab center to decide whether Baysinger can get some sort of visitation right to see Savannah, but consider it very unlikely.

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  1. Anna

    This is such a typical idiotism of buerocracy and law enforcement, where it is not needed. What the fish and game has done is going against any basic ideas of being a humane human. This man was doing what was best for the bear and it is obivious they loved each other. To take the bear away to be killed? I hope all these stupid officials who did that will suffer dearly for what they did and i pray that the man and bear are united again.

    December 13, 2013 at 6:04 am | Reply
  2. DeAnn

    He saved this baby bear and loves her dearly. It is wrong for them to take Savvanah and not let her be returned to her home land.. Mr Baysinger was told she will probably be killed because of them not being able to turn her back to the wild. THIS is wrong to take this little bear from someone that has loved her and saved her for them to kill her. THIS isn't RIGHT. Let Mr. Baysinger have Savvanah back to train her back to her wild life !!!

    September 26, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
  3. Cathy

    Let the man have his bear back ! They are obviously very bonded !

    September 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  4. G Money

    What kind of fascist would take someone's bear friend? Leave it to the birthplace of Bill Clinton. . .

    September 13, 2013 at 9:34 am | Reply

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