A Maryland man had to pay a $100 fine for keeping a black bear cub in his home.
The bear paid a much bigger price.
Dwayne Lee Ritchey, 34, was fined Thursday for keeping the cub in his Eckhart, Md., home for one month -- from early May to early June. He also got probation.
According to the Cumberland Times, Ritchey and his stepson were driving around Savage River State Forest looking for car parts and other scraps. That’s when they spotted the 20-pound bear cub along a road.
According to the report, the men watched the bear for 45 minutes. When they did not see the mother bear or other cubs around, the stepson got out of the car and grabbed the animal. They took it home.
Ritchey told the judge Thursday that he never meant to keep the bear. He claims he planned to turn it over to a local animal refuge.
He also thought he saved the animal’s life by taking it out of the forest.
Naturally, the bear scratched and nibbled on members of the Ritchey household. The bear then had to be checked for rabies, which meant killing the cub. So much for taking care of the cub.
The judge told Ritchey he should have called authorities the moment he took custody of the animal.