Bear with bucket stuck on its head freed with the help of bystanders in Colorado

Neighbors kept the bear up a tree until wildlife officials arrived
Bear with bucket on its head
Posted at 8:13 AM, Jul 16, 2021

BOULDER, Colo. — For the last week, a bear has been wandering around near Boulder, Colorado, with a chicken feeder stuck on its head, but with the help of two men who spotted the yearling, the bear has been rescued.

For the last couple of years, Drew McConaughy and his friend Dave Sherman have slowly been building his dream home in the foothills. But in all that time, he’s never lived through anything quite like this.

"We were just sitting, having lunch around noon and we heard a rustle down in the woods, so we went down to investigate, and we saw the bear running through the woods, the one with the bucket on its head," McConaughy said.

As it’s come to be known as, the bear with the bucket on its head has been spotted running around the mountains for more than a week, but it had never been caught.

"We figured that the bear was probably in distress," McConaughy said.

So, they decided to do something about it after reporting it to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

"Well, Drew said he wanted to tackle it, and I said, 'I don’t know if I want a part of that,' so we kind of chased it up the tree," Sherman said.

"As she started going up the tree, we realized that was probably the best-case scenario, and we just encouraged that. So, once she was up there, we just did everything we could to keep her up there until the professionals arrived," McConaughy said.

When wildlife officials got there, they tranquilized the bear and used ladders from McConaughy's construction site to gently bring it down from high up in the tree.

"We rely on the public a great amount to help us reporting activity and in this case, helping us to locate this bear," said public information officer with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Jason Clay.

CPW was able to cut the bucket off the bear's head and send it back into the wild but not before reinforcing the bear's fear of humans by hazing it.

"A bear naturally should be afraid of humans. The case in point of how this bear got into that situation in the first place is that it broke into someone’s chicken coup and got that feeder stuck on its head," Clay said.

Moving forward, officials warned residents that it's crucial to lock up anything that could attract the bear that has, at the very least, made its way into the heart of these two men.

"This bear has a positive light from here on out," McConaughy said.

This story was originally published by Ivan Rodriguez at KMGH.