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Like a scene out of Winnie the Pooh, the "Bucket Bear" became known among Clarion County residents for its helpless appearance as he adorned a bucket-like object over his head for over a month. The bucket was actually a "maxi," a sort of black air bag used to provide cushioning between a tractor and a trailer, said Patriot News. Local residents saw the bear knocking its head into objects in its path, apparently totally blinded by its unfortunate helmet. The Pennsylvania Game Commission had been made aware of the "Bucket Bear," and had set up a live-trap to capture him, though had been unsuccessful.
On August 31st, a Facebook campaign, Save the Bucket Bear, was created by Seneca resident Krissy Elder "to draw attention to this young bear's situation, so he can be helped with humane assistance before it's too late." Within a day, a photo of the bear from the Facebook page reached Dean Hornberger and his girlfriend Samantha Eigenbrog, two local volunteer animal rescuers, who set out on a mission to free the bear.
"We're going to have to go out there tomorrow morning and see if we can help this thing," Hornberger said to Eigenbrod, according to Patriot News.
The couple searched through the woods for two hours trying to find the "Bucket Bear" before returning to their truck when they spotted him. Hornberger tried to simply tug the 'bucket' off of the bear's head, but it was no use. Soon after, three more rescuers, Shawn Balcita, Eric Kribbel and Kaitlyn Lakin arrived to help.
After chasing the terrified bear for 20 minutes through the muddy creek, the rescue crew tackled and piled atop the bear to keep him from running away. After multiple attempts to cut through the maxi's metal ring lodged around the bear's neck, the crew was able to pull the bear's head free--and within a flash of mud and fur, he had bolted far into the woods. Relieved, the rescuers cheered on the fleeing bear.
Hornberger and Baclita suffered some scratches from the bear's claws, while the entire party had been doused with mud from the chase.
According to one user on the Facebook page, they had seen the same bear as early as July 4th of this year, bringing the bear's confinement time up to nearly two months. Without a doubt, the five volunteers saved the young bear's life.
What do you think of this poor bear's rescue? Let us know in the comments below.