A black bear who had been stuck in an icy Minnesota culvert was rescued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The bear had gotten stuck during hibernation in an icy culvert alongside a road near Wannaska. The male black bear was around 6 years old and weighed between 375 and 400 pounds. Bears occasionally hibernate above ground, according to a Facebook post by the Department of Natural Resources, so this was not unusual. Unfortunately, the culvert began to flood and the bear got stuck in deep snow.
The team’s bear biologist examined the animal and said he was healthy but groggy. They relocated him to a state game sanctuary where he will continue to hibernate.
“He tried to push himself out and kind of got wedged on some frozen water that had frozen and thawed, frozen and thawed and got stuck in place and tired,” Andy Tri, the bear biologist, told Inforum.
KVLY-TV reported that the bear was stuck for three days before the department came to free him. They injected the bear with an anesthetic and were able to take him out of the ice, which took about 20 minutes.
Some people on Facebook criticized the department for taking days to respond to calls about the stuck bear.
In response to the complaints, they said that “it’s typically better for animals (and humans) when” they resist intervening.
“Typically bears would be able to escape a wet culvert on their own, but this was not a typical case. We made the decision to remove the bear and allow him to recuperate in an area where he wouldn’t be the center of human attention and could finish his hibernation in peace.”
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This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 10 February 2023.
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