MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When boaters in northwestern Wisconsin saw a black bear swimming in the lake with a plastic jug stuck on its head, they sped up to help.
Tricia Hurt posted video of the weekend incident on Facebook, saying that her family spotted the bear on Marsh-Miller Lake, which is about 30 miles north of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
In the nearly two-minute video, the family circles the “baby bear” with their boat, eventually gliding close enough to yank the plastic jug off the animal’s head.
“We saved our little bear!” Hurt exclaims, moments after the bear is freed. “Swim happy!”
Hurt reports that the bear made it safely to shore.
According to the Wisconsin DNR, the state is home to a thriving black bear population. There’s estimated to be around 24,000 bears, generally in the northern third of the state.