Bear rescued after head gets stuck in cookie jar

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A bear cub was rescued after its head got stuck in a cookie jar. By Jennifer Thomas A bear cub was rescued after its head got stuck in a cookie jar. By Jennifer Thomas

RINGWOOD, N.J. (AP) -- A frightened bear cub was rescued from a tree in northern New Jersey after getting its head stuck in an oversized cookie jar while rummaging through some trash.

Environmental Protection Department spokesman Larry Ragonese said the 6-month-old cub apparently found the animal crackers jar in a Ringwood neighborhood on Friday night. As the 28-pound animal tried to eat what remained in the jar, he apparently pulled the jar over his head and it got stuck.

The cub became spooked when approached and went up a nearby tree, but got wedged about 40 feet up.

DEP staffers arranged netting in case the bear fell to the ground. After the animal was tranquilized by a DEP biologist, it was brought down and local firefighters gingerly cut the jar off its head.

The cub was dehydrated and distressed, so staffers dunked him in cool water. He was placed in the care of an animal rehabilitator, and Ragonese said the cub is expected to recover.

Ragonese said Tuesday that while it's rare for bears to get in such predicaments, similar incidents have occurred a few times in the past.

He said such problems usually can be traced back to homeowners who leave their trash outside overnight or don't use "bear-proof" trash cans. That attracts bears and other animals looking for something to snack on.

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