We’ve all been there: you see a full-grown bear that appears to be injured, and you want to do the right thing, because having a bear owe you a solid is a better long-term plan than having an IRA. So you’re thinking should you wrestle that bear into your car and drive them to a busy parking lot? I’m afraid the answer is no, hell no. Doing so turns out very badly, as people near Pablo, Montana realized.
On Wednesday morning, a well-meaning but ultimately misguided man in the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal reservation spotted what he believed was an injured adult black bear. The bear seemed to have been hit by a car, but was discovered to be alive when the man approached it.
Somehow—and this is the part that’s really baffling—the man got the adult bear into the bed of his pickup truck.
According to what CSKT Fish and Game Chief Pablo Espinoza told the Independent Record,
“It wasn’t a small bear or a cub. The warden said it was a good-sized bear. When we load them into the back of our trucks, we use a winch. They’re heavy and hard to handle.”
Saying an adult black bear is “hard to handle” is sort of like saying John Wayne Gacy had some “personal issues.”
While the hopeful bear-rescuer contacted authorities that he was bringing in a bear that needed help, the tribal warden was not nearby, so the man drove to a busy parking lot.
That wasn’t such a hot idea.
While in the parking lot, the bear revived, and stood up in the pickup’s bed, likely ruining the pants of anyone who happened to glance bearward.
A tribal law enforcement officer spotted the full-size black bear standing up in a pickup bed in the middle of a busy parking lot, and was forced to shoot it, because, holy shit, that’s a full sized black bear standing up in a pickup bed in the middle of a busy parking lot.
This is a pretty tragic end that really didn’t need to happen. And, I can’t believe I’m typing this but, look, if you see an injured adult bear, um, anywhere, get the fuck out of there and call for help.
While I’m impressed the guy was able to get the bear into his truck bed and I’m sure his heart was in the right place, it was a terrible, terrible idea that cost the bear its life.
So, you know, if possible, try not to do that.