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Bear cub with head stuck in bird feeder found, rereleased

June 8, 2009 |  6:19 pm

The bear cub in northwestern Wisconsin's Burnett County was spotted near Grantsburg over Memorial Day weekend with the bird feeder stuck on its head. D'oh!  Don't you hate it when you're scrounging for birdseed and get your head stuck in the feeder?

This bear cub certainly does.  It was spotted sporting its bird feeder "helmet" near the northern Wisconsin town of Grantsburg over Memorial Day weekend, WQOW News Eau Claire reports.  A resident reported the cub's situation to the state Department of Natural Resources, but the officers who responded were unable to get close because its protective mother was hovering nearby, understandably in bad humor.

It would have been tempting for the officers to leave mother and cub alone, but they worried that the youngster was unable to eat or drink with the feeder stuck firmly on its head.  So they set out to trap the mother bear, reasoning that it would be simpler to catch the cub with its mother out of the way. 

Last week, the trap proved a bigger success than the Department of Natural Resources bargained for: it caught both the mother bear and her cub.  And -- wonder of wonders -- when officers found the pair, they also found the pesky bird feeder broken nearby! 

It's unclear how the feeder came to be broken; one theory is that the mother bear chewed it off; another is that it became stuck in the trap, according to WQOW.  Whatever the true story is, it has a happy ending: Both bears were released, sans plastic headwear, into a nearby wooded area.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Associated Press

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