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Momma bear and two cubs rescued from storm drain


BURLINGTON, Conn. (WFSB) – A momma bear and her two cubs tried to beat the heat in Simsbury by climbing down into a storm drain.

The bear family could not find its way out and neighbors heard the bears crying.

“When we put a flashlight down there it was a tagged bear looking up at us which is the last thing you expect to see,” said Scott Conrad, Simsbury.

Residents called DEEP who sent a crew to the scene.

Jason Hawley is a wildlife biologist. He got the mama bear’s attention by using an animal call specific to a cub about 5 or 6 months old.

“When their mother kind of moves too far a way from them, or if they are in distress, they will make a noise that sounds like this, ‘rrrrr rrrrr,’ and it’s very distinct to bears and that even though she had her cubs with her, her maternal instincts were strong enough where she still had to come and investigate that,” said Hawley.

Once they had her attention they tried to get her to climb up.

“Initially we tried to put a ladder down in there,” said Hawley.

Momma did not like the ladder, so they tried a wooden board.

“They tried to climb up on those but it was a bit of an unnatural thing,” said Hawley.

Finally, they used a log and it was just right.

“Bears climb trees all the time, um, so we put a log down in that storm drain,” said Hawley. “It took a while, it was about 3 hours we were sitting out there waiting and eventually once we got everyone backed away and she felt comfortable with her cubs she was the first one to poke her head up, looked around, made sure the coast was clear, came out first, and then she helped her two cubs come out of the storm drain.”

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