Adventure

Bear Freed From Plastic Jar

Black bear lives 3 weeks with head in jar

After chasing it for three weeks, wildlife officials in Tennessee freed a black bear from a plastic jar that was stuck on its head. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency first heard about a bear with a jar on its head late last month, but repeated attempts to capture the animal—including one near miss with a tranquilizer rifle—were unsuccessful. Then, on July 17, wildlife officer Shelley Hammonds finally caught the bear, which was emaciated but had managed to cross a mountain, and removed the jar in the parking lot of a pawn shop. The bear likely got its head stuck while foraging in a garbage dump. "On every level he was in a deficit," Hammonds said. "For three weeks he had not eaten, had been breathing his own breath, and the only way he must have been able to drink was by lowering his head under water and filling up the jug." The bear later made a full recovery and was set free in the Cherokee National Forest.

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