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NYS DEC: Bear cub that climbed into excavator cab will be cared for until ready for release at wildlife center

Published on April 01, 2024

NYS DEC Bear Cub Jefferson County March 2024

WILNA- The New York State DEC says a bear cub that climbed into the cab of an excavator on St. Patrick’s Day in Jefferson County will be cared for until it is ready for release back into the wild.

According to DEC officials, ECO Jarecki received reports of a bear cub that was hiding in the cab of an excavator in the town of Wilna on Sunday, March 17, 2024.

The owner and operator of the excavator was reportedly removing downed trees and brush to help widen some farm fields. During the process, the operator accidentally collapsed a bear den.

While investigating, the operator all of a sudden witnessed a bear cub approach the den and then climb up into the cab of the excavator, ultimately hiding between the seat and the wall.

With the mother bear nowhere in sight, Officer Jarecki safely removed the cub and placed it in a carrier.

The next day, he and ECO Burgess helped to transfer the young bear to Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center in Greene County where the cub will be cared for until ready for release.

NYS DEC image.

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