Bear cub rescue

July 28, 2012 • 12:11 pm

Speaking of bears, here’s a video that’s gone viral this weekend. HuffPo gives the story:

A mama bear’s three baby bears got stuck in a dumpster recently, and it was a couple that came to the rescue.

The mama bear stayed up all night by the dumpster listening to her cubs cry, until Ruidoso, New Mexico couple Tom and Shirley Schenk arrived at light in their pickup truck with a ladder after hearing the bear cries as well.

“They know how to open the latch to the dumpster,” Shirley tells ABC News. “This mother is notorious in the neighborhood.”

While Tom backed the truck up to the dumpster — with Mama bear watching — Shirley lowered the ladder into the dumpster.

“I was not scared,” she says. “I had my husband driving and I knew we’d drop it and go. … I would have never done that on foot.”

Kudos to those nice Schenks!

23 thoughts on “Bear cub rescue

    1. I do, too. I worry that the mama bear would be making too much of a nuisance of herself, and would end up being euthanized. 🙁

      1. They don’t usually euthanize them around here. More likely, they’d get relocated, or, worst case scenario, they would end up in a sanctuary. L

        1. That’s good to know, Linda. Unfortunately, “problem” animals like bears can end up being euthanized where I’m at, so I’m glad to hear this bear and her cubs are safe from that particular fate.

          1. One would be euthanized if she killed or attacked a human.

            Several have been relocated to the Mt. Taylor, La Mosca area, which is quite far away from Ruidoso. Most of the problem bears from the Albuquerque area end up there. It’s not a tourist area the way the Ruidoso/Sacramento mountain area is.

            And, there’s a wild animal park in Edgewood that put in a bear sanctuary a couple of years ago. They usually take animals that are injured or for some other reason can’t be returned to the wild. L

            1. Bears will be euthanized if they attack/kill a person, but also if they are “habitual offenders”. This tends to be done out of the fear that the bear will become habituated to humans, and eventually end up attacking one. It’s something of an issue where I live (Colorado Springs), especially in the foothills areas. Humans encroach on bear habitats, unwittingly leave food out for the bears in the form of bird seed, garbage, etc, and the bears start seeing a chance for an easy meal. Like I said earlier, I’m glad they have other options for the “non-violent offenders” where you’re at.

    1. Probably not. At least not these bears in the video. The mother was, I”m sure, scared shitless, which is why she backed off when she saw the truck approaching.

      Always be skeptical when people claim that animal can somehow perceive good/bad intentions.

  1. Nice contrast to the sacrificed children post earlier. Maybe we all need ladders to rescue others from the dumpsters of life?

  2. My wife and I surprised a black bear at midnight around the side of our hotel in the Catskills of New York a couple of summers ago. He was on all fours in front of a dumpster about twenty feet away from us as we walked around the corner of the building. We obviously surprised him as he was about to get a midnight snack. He was beautiful, he appeared intelligent and well groomed and he looked to be about fifteen feet tall and 9,000 pounds. He looked right at us, and even though black bears very rarely attack people, I was suddenly terrified. I turned to grab my bride’s hand and run, but she was so concerned that my feelings might be hurt if I failed to protect her properly, she was already magically back in the lobby. The hotel management seemed unfazed as if people run into bears all the time. Since they get fed by the hotel every day, I’m sure they do. A simple dumpster lock would solve the whole problem. Until they get one, we’re staying at a different hotel when we’re in that neighborhood.

    1. “fifteen feet tall and 9,000 pounds”

      You should avoid the whole area, Godzilla can be nearby too.

      1. Slumbery, anything can happen in the “Irish Alps” which are the northern Catskill Mountains. It’s the home of Rip Van Winkle and, according to that silly show on television, the home to many bigfoot (bigfoots? bigfeet? bigsfoot?). That bear gets bigger every time I think about that night, but I truly think he was at least three and a half feet tall on all fours and probably four hundred pounds. I stood there looking at him in awe for way too long – my wife says it was a full minute. His hair (fur) was perfect; I think he used brylcreme (a little dab’ll do ya).

  3. I spent the past two weeks in Ruidoso, and about a week ago (before I had heard of this rescue) we saw this same mama bear and her three cubs getting in and out of an identical dumpster just fine. I think the difference there was that when we saw them there were trash bags piled in the dumpster, so the cubs could get out easily. In the video, the dumpster was likely near empty.

    But boy, are the cubs cute. When we came near (in our car), the four bears retreated a few yards up the mountainside, and the cubs started romping with each other.

    Someone asked about steps to prevent this, and the city of Ruidoso several years ago put latches on all the dumpsters to keep bears out. The problem is not so much cubs getting trapped, but the mess when a bear pulls out a trash bag and retreats a few yards into the woods to dig through it. It’s also a problem that the bears get dependent on humans.

    The latches are simple devices welded onto the dumpster lids, so that if you simply lift the lid, the latch will catch and prevent it. You have to first lift up the latch. However, people being people, many times the lids are left open, or the latches are left in their non-latching position, and the bears seem to have no problem finding enough dumpsters to raid. Every morning you’ll see plenty of open dumpsters with trash-bag messes nearby.

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