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Rangers Free Bear Cub From Plastic Jar After Three-Day Search

Animals
Rangers tranquilized a bear cub to free him from a plastic jar. Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Wildlife & Heritage Service

A Maryland bear cub got himself into a sticky situation over the weekend.

The 100-pound male bear earned himself the nickname "Buckethead" when he got his head stuck in a plastic jar in search of a tasty snack, BBC News reported.


Luckily, the Maryland Department of Human Resources - Wildlife & Heritage Service was able to help him out. After a three-day search, rangers located the cub, tranquilized him and removed the offending jar Saturday night, the service wrote on their Facebook page.

The cub was then immediately returned to the woods and reunited with his mother and one sibling, the service said.

The rangers said they did not know what the jar contained, only that "it smelled good," the Huffington Post reported.

"We think it was one that had pretzels or cheese balls in it, by the shape anyway," the department wrote on Facebook, according to the Huffington Post.

A video taken Friday showed the bear pre-operation.

While "Buckethead" got a happy ending, the story is a serious reminder that plastic pollution poses a threat to land animals as well as marine life.

Last month, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society rescued five juvenile gray squirrel siblings whose tails had gotten tangled together with grass and plastic used to make their nest.

And thousands of animals who don't make the news are killed or injured every year by trash, the Humane Society warned in an informational pamphlet called "Don't Trash Wildlife."

"Food containers become death traps when animals get their heads stuck inside," the pamphlet warned, describing exactly Buckethead's predicament.

But the Humane Society also offered a list of tips so you can dispose of trash without putting bears, squirrels or other wildlife at risk.

  1. Rinse all recyclable containers to remove tempting odors.
  2. Cut or crush plastic containers before disposing of them and cut apart the plastic rings connecting six packs.
  3. Pick up fishing line or nylon twine when you see it.
  4. Rinse out plastic wrap and dispose of it inside a sealed garbage bag or in a closed trash can.
  5. Make sure you collect your trash properly when out in nature.
  6. Secure trash cans with bungee cords wrapped around the lid and attached to the handles when out for collection and bring them out in the morning instead of the night before.

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