When a bear got hungry, it followed the smell of human food to the dumpster. While the bear, who has been named “T-Shirt” was rummaging for food in the garbage bin, he got stuck and needed help being pulled from it. The bear found himself wedged in the dumpster, which is located near Kings Beach along the border of Nevada early on Monday.
Because of a white mark on his chest, he earned the name “T-Shirt” affectionately. He was discovered stuck in the bin after a call came in at about 3 am. Someone had heard the bear rummaging in the garbage bin. The deputies hurried over to check out the bear and to find what it was doing. They found it stuck in the bin and rushed to help the bear free itself from the horrible situation.
Deputies Dan Staley and Joe Bertoni from Placer County Sheriff’s Office decided to risk their lives in the “rescue mission” to save the bear from the garbage heap. The entire incident was captured on their squad car’s dashboard cameras.
When the police show up, they immediately noticed that the noisemaker is the friendly bear. It is seen popping its head up through the garbage bin looking for someone to come and rescue it before this dumpster dive becomes its last meal.
While the police officers wanted to help T-Shirt, they didn’t want to risk their skin doing it. They used long sticks to loosen the lid of the dumpster to allow the bear to get out of it. But that didn’t work completely. They also had to use their hands to give the lid a final lift before running back to safety so the bear could escape without interruption.
“He’s a local bear and has had prior run-ins with our deputies,” Placer County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook as they posted the footage.
Sheriff’s Sergeant Dave Hunt admitted that this run-in with T-Shirt was “a little too close for my taste,” during an interview with the Los Angeles Times. He added, “He’s not a friendly bear by any means. I think he was just tired.”
The video footage did not include a section where the bear swiped at the deputies who were trying to save it. This portion was left out because the Sheriff’s Office wanted the footage to be fun for the general public instead of a means to get people scared of the bear.
While the footage may be cute, wildlife officials do not take kindly to bears that eat human refuse. If this bear, T-Shirt, gets caught eating from dumpsters again, he could risk euthanization since officials fear when bears get too comfortable with human society.
T-Shirt is not a kind bear, despite what you see in the footage. He tried to kill the deputies with his claws in a section of the footage removed before publication. If he is caught eating garbage again, they might not go easy on him.
What do you think about this footage? Should the deputies have risked their lives to rescue the dumpster-diving bear?
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