Two young bear cubs were freed last weekend from a hollow tree in Wisconsin, after falling debris trapped them inside, leaving them able to only poke their snouts out from the trunk.
The strange rescue began when a local cabin owner heard the bears crying within the tree. Assuming at first that the cubs would be able to free themselves, she left them alone, yet returning the next day, found them still trapped in the tree. The woman then called the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, ABC News reports.
The Sheriffs in turn contacted Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, who dispatched two wardens to the scene. Along with a local wildlife expert, they discovered that not one, but two bear cubs were stuck inside the hollow tree.
“In 15 years of being a warden I haven’t seen a bears caught in a tree before. I’ve seen lots of bears just none that were trapped like that,” said warden Jesse Ashton.
The wardens believe that the bear cubs entered the tree by climbing in through a hole, and became trapped when debris fell on them, blocking their exit, according to NBC News. Determining that they would need to cut into the tree to rescue the bears, the wardens called the Milltown Fire Department for assistance. The inquisitive bears watched while the firefighters determined where to cut into the tree, with one sticking his head as far out as possible.
“We cut a hole in the tree and then we all backed off and waited,” said warden Phil Dorn.
— Watch CTV News (@WatchCTVNews) October 3, 2014
In September, a 22-year-old student from Rutgers University was attacked and killed by a bear in New Jersey, as The Inquisitr has previously noted. According to police, Darsh Patel was hiking with four others when they encountered the bear, which approached them in an aggressive manner. The group separated, and all five men ran in different directions.
Two little bear cubs trapped in tree are freed by heroic firefighters http://t.co/KKTfc57sDA pic.twitter.com/vCgbIhaIIA
— The Dodo (@dodo) October 4, 2014
Chasing him down, the bear caught Patel and mauled him to death. When police arrived at the scene, a bear was seen circling Patel’s body and acting aggressively, prompting the officers to kill the animal. Though the attack that killed Patel was considered a rarity, authorities weren’t sure that the bear they killed was the same one that mauled him.
The bear cubs, who were covered in sawdust from the tree but otherwise unharmed, quickly scampered off, back into the woods.
[Image via Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources]