WATCH: Bear cub with head stuck in bucket rescued in northern Ontario

Jenny YuenMore from Jenny Yuen

Published:July 20, 2020

Updated:July 20, 2020 3:19 PM EDT

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Residents see a lot of bears in northern Ontario, but Trevor Buchmann said it’s not every day you see a black bear cub with a red bucket on its head.

Even rarer is when you see that cub climb a tree and get stuck there.

Buchmann, 46, lives in Kenogami — about 15 kilometres west of Kirkland Lake and not far from the county dump. He says people had seen black bear cubs with their mother there earlier this year, but on Sunday, he had a direct encounter with one of the cubs that found itself in a serious pickle.

The bear had first been spotted July 15, about 5 km from his home with a pail on its head. Buchmann suspects the mother abandoned the cub after being unable to remove the pail.

“The cub likely picked it up at the dump,” he said Monday, “and worked his way through the bush. We think it may have been the container for protein powder.”

“We’d heard reports since then about this bear cub,” he said. “(Sunday), we were doing some work on our guest cottage and my daughter was sitting on the deck and she said, ‘What’s that on the tree?’ I thought it might be a fisher or marten or even a cat, and I looked over and saw the big red bucket on its head.

“I ran to get into long-sleeve clothing and I tried to grab it and it went further up the tree. I went to the shop to get a pole I could use to loop around the bucket.”

A friend arrived after a call from Buchmann’s wife and he went up the tree trying to get the bear but the cub went up to the highest branch.”

Buchmann, his wife and daughter filmed the encounter and posted it to Facebook.

In the four-minute long video, Elder, wearing camouflage garb, is seen up the tree, holding a pole, which he eventually uses to gently knock the cub into Kenogami Lake. From there, Buchmann retrieves the animal from the water and the two men, using a blanket, remove the bucket from the bear’s head.

Buchmann said Elder’s aunt is a veterinarian who has conducted bear rescues in the past and gave the men step-by-step instructions over the phone.

The cub was safely put into a dog kennel and though it appeared shaken at first, eventually calms down when Buchmann feeds it some fruits.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry was called and the cub, which he’s nicknamed “Kenny,” was bound for the Bear With Us rescue centre outside Huntsville where it will stay over the fall and winter and be released next spring.

In another bear encounter video that surfaced over the weekend, three hikers remain very still while a black bear sniffs them out.

Reported to have been taken at Chipinque Ecological Park in Mexico, the video shows the black bear up on its hind legs while one of the women can be seen stretching out her arm to take a photo with the wild animal.

The clip has had millions of views since being shared on social media.

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