Lid successfully removed from bear’s neck

Press release from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission:

A staff member with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission successfully removed a plastic garbage can lid from around the neck of a female bear this morning in Asheville.

The agency received a report from its NC Wildlife Helpline on Thursday evening about the distressed bear. After evaluating the welfare of the bear and location of the situation, staff set traps on Friday to try and humanely capture the bear. Traps are the best first option in a populated setting, as using a dart to anesthetize a bear may result in the animal running away or climbing a tree, which could create a welfare issue for the bear.

After two days and nights of around-the-clock monitoring and unsuccessful trapping, a Wildlife Commission biologist saw the bear calm and near unoccupied houses, with no people or other animals around. Staff determined, although not without risk, it was the best opportunity available to safely anesthetize the bear and remove the lid. Once fully anesthetized, it took less than two minutes to remove the lid, confirm no other signs of injury and wake the bear up.  The bear fully recovered, and staff left the scene once bear and cubs were reunited.

Thank you to everyone who showed care and compassion for this bear and allowed us time and space to safely remove the lid from her head without posing a risk to the bear, her cubs or the public. Staying BearWise helps to avoid these situations puts us in the best position to coexist with bears.

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.