A hungry bear cub allowed his curiosity to get the better of him. CBS News reported that his investigation of an oversize cookie jar, which he found in the trash in Ringwood, New Jersey, resulted in him giving a great impression of “Winnie the Pooh” as he pulled the jar over his head – and got stuck.
Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department, said that the bear cub, which was estimated to be around six-months-old, found the animal crackers jar in a neighborhood of Ringwood last Friday night. It was when the bear, weighing 28 pounds, tried to eat what was left in the jar that his enthusiasm exceeded his judgment, and he put his head deep into the cookie jar.
The bear cub became nervous when he sensed someone approaching, and climbed a nearby tree – but it got wedged in the branches at a height of around 40 feet from the ground.
Ringwood and Wanaque rescue crews were called to the scene, and DEP workers arranged netting in case the bear should fall to the ground.The animal was then tranquilized by a DEP biologist and brought down. Local firefighters then carefully cut the jar off its head.
Because the cub was dehydrated and distressed, he was dipped into in cool water. He was then placed in the care of the animal rehabilitator, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Ragonese said that it is rare for bears to get in such situations, but similar incidents have occurred occasionally in the past. The problem is caused by homeowners who leave their trash outside overnight, or don’t make use of the “bear-proof” trash cans which are available. Of course, that is an attraction for bears, or any other animals looking for a late night snack.
Presumably, this will not be the last time a bear gets stuck in a cookie jar.