The Department of Environmental Conservation found and then rescued an upstate bear with a plastic bucket stuck on his head this week, ending a search for the elusive black bear after sightings of it were called in to the office for almost a month. And as it turned out, the bucket probably held cheese balls before the bear got its head stuck in it. Who among us does not love those so much they might not get their head stuck in the tub?
The DEC took to Facebook to tell the story of the Bucket Head Bear (no relation), which began on April 24 with a resident of the town of Kirkwood calling an environmental conservation officer to report seeing a bear in her yard with a plastic bucket stuck on its head. More and more calls about the Bucket Head Bear started coming in after this first call, and despite putting out bear traps, DEC only managed to catch two bears without buckets on their heads.
Environmental Conservation Officer Andrew McCormick and wildlife biologists got back on the trail of the bear on May 19, and after tracking him for 6 hours, they managed to capture him. The bear, which lived with a bucket on its head for at least three-and-a-half weeks, was tranquilized by a McCormick who removed the bucket and kept him in a bear trap overnight so it could recover. According to the DEC, the bear showed no ill effects of having a bucket that was suspected of containing pretzels or cheese puffs on his head for so long, and "shot out of the trap like a cannon" when he was released.
DEC took the opportunity to remind people that you should always make sure you keep your trash in sealed garbage cans or in some type of garbage shed that bears can't get into, for the safety of the bears.