A young bear pretending to be very furry astronaut had managed to put itself in a predicament. Somehow, the animal had stuck its head inside a plastic jar. The hard part came when it tried to remove the awkward headgear. According to the Associated Press, the bear led four Jamison City, Pennsylvania residents on a frantic chase through backyards and driveways, during which the bear dunked into a nearby swimming pool at least twice. Among its rescuers was Game Commission employee Jeff Hubler, who had been on the bear’s trail for the past several days.

The bear was first seen with the jar over its head on June 3, but evaded attempts by wardens to capture it. It is believed to have inadvertently donned the jar after smelling cooking oil and giving the item a few exploratory licks. Residents speculate that the young bear frequented swimming pools in order to obtain drinking water, but it is not known whether the animal has eaten in the past 11 days.

“He’d have died in a couple more days,” said rescuer Mike Jurbala.

Jurbala had seen the bear wandering around town near a hotel and gave a call to Hubler. A bartender at the hotel, Morgan Laskowski, and her mother Jody Boyle also joined in the hunt. The bear was not hard to track, especially since the plastic can over its head made it slower than usual. Eventually the bear was herded into a backyard and subdued so Hubler could free the jar.

“You’d think the bear would be weak, because it hadn’t eaten or drunk for a week, but it was strong,” Boyle said.

As always, containers and other litter that was contained food should be properly disposed. Along with being detrimental to the well-being of wildlife, it can also cause species like bears to lose their fear of humans.

Image from Brocken Inaglory on the Wikimedia Commons

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