A hibernating bear was rescued after becoming stuck in deep snow and ice in rural Roseau County.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, the bear became stuck in a culvert alongside a road near Wannaska. Officials with the DNR surmise that the bear decided that the culvert would make a good place to hibernate.
Bears do occasionally hibernate above ground, the DNR reported. It’s not unusual. However, in this case, melting snow ended up flooding the bear out of the culvert.
The net result of this natural phenomenon was that the bear ended up stuck in deep snow and ice.
“Our bear biologist, Andrew Tri, examined the bear and pronounced him healthy but groggy — obviously, because he’d been woken up from his winter sleep,” a DNR official said.
The bear was estimated to be about 6 years old and weighing close to 400 pounds.
The DNR thanked the public for flagging the bear’s predicament, but also warned people not to directly interact with bears.
“In this case, some well-meaning folks tried to dig out the bear. They also served him up a smorgasbord of six pop tarts, a head of lettuce, a dead sucker minnow, some Fancy Feast cat food, bird seed, and a Swedish fish. That might work for the Very Hungry Caterpillar in Eric Carle’s book, but it’s no good for bears,” the DNR official said, adding the bear did not eat the food because they don’t have any desire to eat during winter.