'What in the world?': N.C. man finds 2 baby bears in box left on doorstep

CAMDEN, N.C. (WTKR/CNN) - Deputies in North Carolina are baffled after one resident found a cardboard box containing two black bear cubs, less than a month old, on his doorstep.

The black bear cubs were taken to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro to be examined and cared for. Because their eyes were not open, it’s likely they are less than one month old. (Source: Camden County Sheriff’s Office/WTKR/CNN)

Cornelius Williams says he went to the grocery store for just 10 minutes Tuesday night, but when he returned to his Camden, N.C., home, he stumbled upon an unusual box.

“I see this box sitting right on my walkway, and it’s close by my car,” Williams said. “The noise was the reason why I was so concerned. It was a squeaky noise. It was like ‘ying, ying.’”

Williams and a Camden County Sheriff's deputy who responded to the scene peered inside the carboard box, only to find two newborn black bear cubs, eyes still shut, nuzzled in a gray sweatshirt.

"I said, ‘What in the world is this?’” Williams said. “I thought they were Tazmanian devils, only thing I’ve seen with a pointy nose like that.”

It was an incredibly bizarre find, something Sheriff Kevin Jones says he’s never seen before, despite the large number of bears in the county.

“You have to wonder who put them in the box. Why did they put them in the box? Why did they deliver them to this particular address? That’s yet to be determined,” Jones said.

The cubs were taken to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro to be examined and cared for. Because their eyes were not open, it’s likely they are less than one month old. Black bear cubs’ eyes typically open around 4 to 6 weeks of age, according to the North American Bear Center.

As for Williams, he says he’s just glad the babies’ mother wasn’t lurking nearby.

“Whoever took them away from their mother, if they had seen me come in my yard, I would have been a Happy Meal,” he said.

Copyright 2020 WTKR, Camden County Sheriff’s Office via CNN. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.