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Excavator operator collapses bear den in New York — and ends up with a tiny stowaway

An unfortunate excavating accident in upstate New York could have ended in tragedy for a tiny bear cub — but the young bear’s skittish instincts may have saved its life.

An excavator operator accidentally collapsed the cub’s den while widening farming fields in Wilna, Jefferson County, on March 17, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said on social media Monday, April 1. The town is about a 100-mile drive north from Syracuse.

Then he noticed a tiny cub wandering around and tried to approach it, but the frightened cub raced up the tracks of the machine, “climbed into the cab through the open excavator door and hid between the seat and the wall of the cab,” officials said on Facebook.

“Talk about the luck of the Irish!” officials said, referring to the St. Patrick’s Day rescue. “On March 17, Environmental Conservation Officer Jarecki received a call reporting a bear cub in the cab of an excavator in the town of Wilna.”

The cub’s mother was nowhere in sight, so officials removed the young bear. A photo shows a wildlife officer holding the tiny cub after the rescue.

The next day, officials transferred the cub to Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center in Greene County, where wildlife officials will care for it until it can be released back into the wild. A cute photo shows the cub nursing from a bottle almost as big as the cub’s body.

Several people in the Facebook comments worried the den might have collapsed on the cub’s mother and potential siblings.

“I just hope the den wasn’t collapsed ON the mother and other cubs,” someone said. “I hope a search for them was initiated.”

Officials did not reply to the concerns on Facebook. Some also praised the farmer’s rescue effort.

“Many thanks to the farmer for doing the right thing,” someone said. “I know it’s a wild animal, but the cub is adorable. Best wishes for success!”

Greene County is almost a 200-mile drive south of Wilna, and about a 60-mile drive south from Albany. Officials didn’t say where the cub would eventually be released.

“That’s so great to hear it will be released,” someone said. “I hope the whole bear family is ok.”

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by Anonymousreply 5April 3, 2024 3:12 PM

He's so adorable!

And so is the bear cub.

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by Anonymousreply 1April 3, 2024 2:04 AM


by Anonymousreply 2April 3, 2024 2:04 AM

Escalator collapsed by the weight of cigar-smoking bears at a bear convention?

by Anonymousreply 3April 3, 2024 2:06 AM

So sweet 😊

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by Anonymousreply 4April 3, 2024 2:08 AM

[quote] Dollface!

Came this close to being a maulface!

by Anonymousreply 5April 3, 2024 3:12 PM
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