Fiction may overshadow facts in bear death story in Pine Mountain

UPDATE (TUESDAY, Nov. 12, 2013)—Since we first issued this breaking news report (below)  Channel 23 News has made some corrections to their original newscast, admitting now that it was a male bear of 350 pounds that was killed, rather than a mother with a cub. They also have made a correction so they are no longer misquoting the homeowner.

We also found that the deputy who originally reported the case to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife mistakenly reported them as a mother and her cub, and that this misinformation was published in the Kern County Sheriff’s Logs in The Mountain Enterprise in the November 8, 2013 issue. The full story will be published this week, in newsstands and in mailboxes on Thursday, Nov. 14.

PINE MOUNTAIN CLUB, CA (Monday, Nov. 11, 2013)—Reports of a mother bear being killed in the Pine Mountain community and a small cub being left motherless may be fictions that make for a good internet schmooz-fest and provide Channel 23 with a sensationalized television story.  But the accounts fall far short of the actual facts.

Cris Ornelas of Bakersfield’s Channel 23-TV tonight appears to have decided to ignore the facts he was given about a male bear of about 360 pounds and another of about 250 pounds—not a cub—that broke into a local home. Instead, the TV reporter showed members of a local wildlife rescue group who went on television seemingly to inflame outrage. Ornelas reported their description of the bears, but attributed that description to the homeowner—creating what appears to be a thoroughly bungled newscast.

The Mountain Enterprise is researching a report for this week’s newspaper (out Thursday, Nov. 14) to include a full account of a tragedy that has taken place, but not the one Channel 23 reported, and not the one that has created such fiery rhetoric on local chat boards.

—Patric Hedlund


This is part of the November 8, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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