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TWRA rescues bear cub with head stuck in plastic food container

A bear cub’s head was freed by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, but the road to freedom was long.
TWRA rescues bear cub with head stuck in plastic food container
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 10:14 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Biologists with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency rescued a black bear cub by freeing its head from a plastic food container. However, the steps to freedom were long.

The bear was originally spotted on June 13 at the Covered Bridge Resort in Wears Valley. TWRA partnered with Appalachian Bear Rescue to survey the area. The agencies followed the cub’s trails through incoming calls about its location.

On June 20, someone called with the cub’s latest sighting. While the cub had previously been spotted with a female bear and siblings, the cub was now alone. TWRA officials said they believed the female bear was separated and could not find her cub.

Black Bear Support Biologist Janelle Musser went to the area of the sighting and found the cub halfway up a tree.

With a ladder supplied from a local business, Musser climbed up and placed a catch pole around the container. Once there was enough tension, the cub pulled its head free from the food container. The container was most likely pretzels or cheese balls, according to TWRA spokesperson Matthew Cameron.

Because the cub was not with a female bear and under 30 lbs., the ABR stepped in to care for the cub. The ABR set traps, caught the cub and transported it to their facility to oversee its recovery.

TWRA advised people always keep garbage secure and to crush up or recycle these types of containers. People are also encouraged to report any sightings of bears or anyone breaking the rules of interaction with bears.

BEAR RESCUE! Black Bear Support Biologist Janelle Musser was able to rescue a black bear cub who had gotten its head...

Posted by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

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