A 250-pound bear trapped in a storm drain got an new lease on life when wildlife officers extricated the burly bruin in a humane, hands-off showdown.
We see your bathtub drain clogged with a grotty hairball and raise you a storm drain harboring a shaggy young bear. Such is life in bucolic Colorado Springs, where men are men, bighorn sheep are nervous, and bears take a page from Stephen King's IT by hiding out in storm drains. We all float down here... and would you happen to have some honey, honey?
It was thought the bear, estimated to be 3 or 4 years old, ducked into the drain after being frightened away from a nearby dumpster filled with berry-bearing tree branches. Once in the drain, however, the bruin was a pegged as a pig in a poke – that is, its short arms and legs were unable to gain purchase against the drain's steep and slippery walls.
Not even a tanker truck full of Liquid Plumber would dislodge the big, angry and toothy clog so, with rain beginning to fall, Colorado Springs utilities workers and Colorado Parks Wildlife officers were called to the scene.
Once apprised of the situation, authorities had a tough decision to make. “Officers are a trying to avoid handling (aka tranquilizing) the bear," according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife - Southeast Region's Twitter account. “Once it's handled, it gets an ear tag. That's one strike against it. If it was ever handled again it would have to be euthanized.” Definitely an undesirable result for man or beast!
All's well that end well, however. After a utility worker removed a metal manhole cover above the bear's position, a CWS officer fired a non-lethal rubber bullet at the bear. That did the trick, as the spooked beast bolted from the manhole and made a beeline (or in this case, a bearline) into the open area beyond the housing development. Check out this video from ABC 10 News to view the chubby bear's narrow escape.