GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo., July 22 (UPI) -- The owner of a Colorado bed and breakfast lassoed and wrestled with a 2-year-old black bear to free the animal's head from a plastic jug of Cheese Balls.
Jim Hawkins, owner of Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast outside of Glenwood Springs, said the bear had been spotted numerous times during the past week with the clear plastic Cheese Balls container on its head, but it always wandered away before authorities arrived.
One sighting of the "Jug Head bear" was captured on camera by witness Erin Caldwell and the video was posted to YouTube.
The 100-pound bear was estimated to be about 2 years old.
"He was just a little bear with a big problem," Hawkins told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. "He was a 2-year-old with a space helmet on."
Hawkins said he didn't want the bear to endanger its own life, so when it emerged again Wednesday he lassoed the animal around its midsection.
The B&B owner said a brief tug-of-war ensued before "the bear figured out his problem was at the end of that rope."
The bruin came after Hawkins and the pair had "a couple of good rolls in the grass."
Hawkins said six or seven guests at his accommodation witnessed the wrestling match, which ended when the bear fled up a nearby tree.
"They got their money out of it," he said of his guests.
Hawkins tied off the rope and wildlife officers soon arrived to tranquilize the bear and use tin shears to remove the plastic container from its head.
Carbondale District Wildlife Officer John Groves said the bear was released after the rescue and is expected to survive. He said Hawkins' "heart was in the right place," but officials "highly recommend" members of the public who see an animal in distress not attempt to interact with them without wildlife officers present.
Hawkins, who required stitches for a cut to his arm from the bear's claws, said he hopes the animal's saga will remind people not to leave food containers where they can endanger wildlife.
"None of us wanted to see him die the bushes someplace," Hawkins said.