Colorado man wrestles bear to free it from Cheese Balls jar

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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Wildlife officials tranquilized and rescued a 2-year-old black bear after a Cheese Balls container got stuck on its head this week, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports.

The bear had been seen numerous times in the past week, but after calling for help, the bear would be gone by the time wildlife officials arrived.

Jim Hawkins, owner of Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast, told the newspaper that his wife saw the troubled bear five days earlier near a pond on their property.

“He was just a little bear with a big problem,” Hawkins told the newspaper. “He was a 2-year-old with a space helmet on.”

Hawkins saw the bear three days ago, but it ran off before a wildlife officer could arrive.

When the bear was seen again Wednesday, Hawkins found it and lassoed it around its midsection. After some struggles, the 100-pound bear came after Hawkins and the two had “a couple of good rolls in the grass.”

Hawkins said six or seven guests at the B&B watched the wrestling match.

“They got their money out of it,” he told the newspaper.

The two eventually separated and the bear went up a tree, but Hawkins tied him off so he couldn’t get away. Hawkins got cut on an arm and required a few stitches.

Carbondale District Wildlife officer John Groves arrived and tranquilized the bear, the newspaper reported. Groves used a tin shears to cut the heavy plastic off the bear’s head.

After using a reversal drug, the bear woke up, drank some water and ran off.

As for Hawkins and the bear wrestling, Groves told the newspaper that Colorado Parks and Wildlife “highly recommends” people not to interact with wildlife.

“His heart was in the right place,” Groves said.

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