A bear family was trying to cross the road when the mama bear kept pacing back and forth as one of her babies seemingly refused to move. It caught the attention of a police officer, who had to act fast after taking a closer look and realizing what was wrong.
Trooper Thomas Owens, an officer with the Carroll Police Department in New Hampshire, took a call for a black bear family, trying to cross a road, the NH State Police reported. Rather than getting across quickly, the mama bear, accompanied by four cubs, kept going back and forth.
When Trooper Owens stopped to help, he found the mama seemingly pacing in the road, The Dodo reported, and it wasn’t long before he understood why. The Town of Carroll Police Department was familiar with this particular bear family.
“This is the mother that had five cubs out in Bretton Woods,” the department explained in a Facebook post, adding that the day before, they had to pick up one of her babies. The cub, a runt, had been sick, weak, and unable to keep up with its mom and siblings.
In a comment, the Town of Carroll Police Department explained that a bear having five cubs was rare since most typically have only two or three cubs at a time. “It is very, very, rare. This is only the second time we are aware of it in NH,” the department wrote.
As the mama tried to cross the road with her four remaining cubs, at least one of her babies seemed to be refusing to move, according to Reshareworthy. The mom was going back and forth, trying to get the cub to come along. She obviously wanted all four of her cubs to remain with her, but one couldn’t keep up with her and its siblings because it was sick and too weak to move.
Trooper Thomas Owens knew he had to help. “After doing some bear traffic control, we had to take one bear cub in for Fish and Game to be rehabilitated as it was too weak to keep up with its mom and siblings,” the department explained. “This leaves her with three other very healthy cubs that she can now focus on and take care of. The other two will be rehabilitated and returned to the wild when they are stronger.”
Trooper Owens watched cautiously, and after some time, the mama eventually made the heartbreaking decision to leave the sick cub and continue on her way with the healthy three. The officer was able to then scoop up the weak one so that it could get the help it needed, the department explained.
Jokingly, the department described the process of rescuing the cub, saying, “In short, it is a very delicate process that involves distracting mom, running fast with a screaming bear cub, and hoping you make it back into the cruiser in time!” They did offer the public a serious warning first.
“Remember, never pick up or handle wild animals,” the department wrote. “This was done under the care of Fish and Game. If anyone runs into an issue with wildlife please, please, please contact your local PD or Fish and Game to assist!”
Many concerned citizens questioned why two of the five babies were sick. “They were the ‘runts’ of the group,” the department explained, “5 cubs is very rare for a bear to have and an even bigger problem trying to care for them all, just way too much for this poor mom bear trying to take care of them all.”
While in the wildlife rehab, the cubs were said to be “doing great, getting stronger by the day.” In addition, “Both mom and the other three cubs have been seen many more times as well,” and, “they are also doing great!” the department happily reported.
Jane Langmaid happened to be in a car that had to stop for the bear family as they attempted to cross. Zooming in from her car, she was able to film the family of bears and Trooper Thomas Owens doing his job. “I had the pleasure of watching the officer and cubs in action,” she wrote in the caption of the clip.
Jane explained that the incident occurred in a part of the White Mountain National Forest, which includes almost 800,000 acres of protected wilderness. She added that the video “demonstrates the problem as well as the great love of the bear family and care by the officer” and applauded Trooper Owens for doing a “very amazing and great job!”
Indeed, it was definitely a job well done. Both cubs got a fighting chance at life, and the rehabilitation efforts were a success. In a follow-up comment, the department shared that both cubs had been “brought back up to full strength” before they were later released. I don’t know about you, but I love a story with a happy ending.