Bear rescued from deep snow in Minnesota ditch

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Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Minnesota came to the rescue of a bear that was hibernating in a ditch and became stuck in the deep snow.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the bear chose a roadside culvert near Wannaska for its long winter's nap, but ran into trouble when the deep snow started to melt.


"Unfortunately, melting snow can sometimes flood bears out of culverts, and that's what happened here: The culvert started to flood and this bear got stuck in the deep snow and ice," the department said in a Facebook post.

Andy Tri, bear project leader for the DNR in Grand Rapids, responded to the bear's location on Monday and determined the animal was indeed stuck.

Tri sedated the bear and worked together with DNR Conservation Officers Ben Huener and Coby Fontes, as well as a Roseau County Sheriff's Office deputy, to free the bruin.

The rescuers used a rope with "paw cuffs" to pull the bear out of its predicament.

"It took about five guys to haul him up and out of the hole once we dug him out. We just had to free his leg out of the hole of the culvert," Tri told Inforum.


Tri said the bear was examined and found to be healthy and free from frostbite or other serious injuries.

"He's in the back of a pickup truck now, and we'll make him a new den," Tri said. "He probably won't stay, but at least it will give him some protection from the elements after that."

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