WANNASKA, Minn. – Biologists in Minnesota have rescued a black bear trapped in a culvert filled with snow and ice.
The 6-year-old male bear was hibernating above ground near a road in Wannaska when melting snow caused the flood. The bear then became stuck in deep snow and ice.
Biologists from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources were able to free the bear quickly. They relocated the estimated 400-pound bear to a nearby game sanctuary so that he could continue his winter slumber.
Bears occasionally hibernate above ground, so this isn’t unusual, the department said in a Facebook post.
"Our bear biologist, Andrew Tri, examined the bear and pronounced him healthy but groggy," the department said. "Obviously, because he’d been woken up from his winter sleep!"
Wildlife officials are reminding people if they are ever concerned about a bear’s safety to give them a call, but you should never try to move it or feed it.
"In this case, some well-meaning folks tried to dig out the bear," the MNDNR said. "They also served him up a smorgasbord of six Pop Tarts, a head of lettuce, a dead sucker minnow, some Fancy Feast cat food, bird seed and a Swedish fish."
While this snack might work for the Very Hungry Caterpillar in Eric Carle’s book, the department said it’s not good for bears.
Luckily, because bears don’t desire to eat in the winter, this bear didn’t bite.