Wildlife officials in North Carolina said rescued a bear cub seen wandering for at least two days with a plastic container stuck over its head.
Justin McVey, a wildlife biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said the commission first received reports Monday that a bear was in the Beaverdam area of Asheville with a plastic food container stuck over its head.
McVey and his colleagues searched for the bear for two days.
“People would call in, and I would get to the spot, they would say, ‘Yeah, it was here 30 minutes ago,'” McVey told the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Jody Williams, founder of the Help Asheville Bears Facebook group, helped track the bear’s movements using reports from group members.
McVey said officials glimpsed the bear Wednesday morning, but were unable to get a clear shot to tranquilize the animal.
The bruin gave its pursuers the slip, but Williams responded to the area and elicited the help of drone operator Stephan Pruitt, who usex witness reports to pinpoint the bear’s location.
McVey said wildlife officials rushed to the scene, tranquilized the bear and removed the jug. The bear was determined to be a 10-month-old female cub that only recently was weaned off its mother.
“We were able to safely dart and anesthetize the bear, remove the jug from her head and perform a health check. She was in great health, with no injuries or lacerations, and immediately relocated to a remote area in western North Carolina,” McVey said in a Facebook post.