Rescuers Sees Bear Stuck In Storm Drain — And Realizes She Isn't Alone
“They were sort of cowering down there.”
When a mama bear in Connecticut realized she’d wandered too far into a storm drain, she cried out for help. Her distressed calls echoed throughout a residential neighborhood in the middle of the night.
The bear likely walked into the storm drain system after stopping for a drink at a nearby stream, but soon wandered too far into the pipes to find the exit.
But the bear wasn’t alone — she had two little babies traveling with her — meaning time was of the essence.
When rescuers arrived, the mama bear was already on high alert. The rescuers lowered a log and a ladder into the storm drain closest to her, hoping that she would use the log to climb up through the opening. Instead, the mama bear ran from the objects, going deeper into the drainage system with her cubs.
Local and state environmental police officers and the DEEP state biologists tasked with rescuing the bears refused to give up on the little family. They took the ladder and log out of the first storm drain and gently placed them into the opening next to where the mama bear had run.
The mama bear was still scared, but she didn’t run away the second time. Instead, she stayed at the base of the ladder and shielded her cubs with her body. She made eye contact with one of the state biologists who’d lowered themself into the drain to check on the bears, but otherwise didn’t move.
“[They] were sort of cowering down there,” Libby Lord, a local photographer who captured the rescue on camera, wrote in a Facebook post.
With no other way of encouraging the mama bear to climb up the log on her own, one of the biologists started mimicking a bear cub call from above the surface.
Within minutes, the mama bear quickly poked her head out through the storm drain opening to look for the bear cub in need.
“After everyone was well back from her location, and waiting quietly, and watching ... the momma's head popped up!” Lord wrote. “Then she climbed out, took a look around, and went back to encourage the cubs to come out, too.”
The first cub managed to climb up the storm drain on his own, but the second cub needed some encouragement. So the mama bear crawled back down into the storm drain and quickly lifted him up to the surface.
With all four paws safely on the ground, the family of three ran off together in search of a quiet patch of trees.
Local residents and rescue personnel were relieved to have the difficult task of saving the bears behind them, almost as relieved as the mama bear was to finally get her babies to safety.