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Excavator used to scoop bear out of power station canal

By Ben Hooper

Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in a Chinese city said they used an excavator to prevent a bear from drowning when it fell into a canal at a hydropower station.

Workers at the hydropower station in Jiuquan, Gansu province, said they found the bear clinging to a grate in the water while struggling to keep its head above water.

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The workers contacted the local animal rescue station, which sent a crew to the scene.

"The bear was soaked, so we guess it had been struggling in the water for hours," animal rescuer Li Lichun told China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

Li said the bear, which was elderly and had no front teeth, apparently fell into the canal while attempting to drink the water.

The rescuers used an excavator bucket to scoop the bear out of the water.

"The bear seemed exhausted and sleepy, so we were able to get it out using the excavator," Tu Wei, head of the Subei county wildlife authority, said.

Li said the bear was transported to the rescue station in a steel cage and given "nutritious meals" to help it recover.

"The bear is now in good conditions," Li said. "Actually it recovered quickly and started to show its aggressiveness hours after being rescued."

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