Mother bear and her two cubs rescued from a storm drain


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

The bear family couldn’t find their way and the neighbors heard the bears crying.

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

Residents called DEEP who dispatched a team to the scene.

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

“When their mother gets too far away from them, or if they’re in distress, they make a noise like this, ‘rrrrr rrrrr’, and that’s very distinct to bears and that even if she had her small with her, her maternal instincts were strong enough that she still had to come and investigate it,” Hawley said.

Once they got her attention, they tried to get her up.

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

Mom didn’t like the ladder, so they tried a wooden plank.

“They tried to climb on it, but it was a bit unnatural,” Hawley said.

Finally they used a log and it was perfect.

“Bears climb trees all the time, uh, so we put a log in that storm drain,” Hawley said. “It took a while, we had been sitting there waiting for about 3 hours and finally once we got everyone back and she was comfortable with her little ones, she was the first to raise her head, look around, make sure the coast was clear, came out first, then she helped her two little ones out of the storm drain.

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