General May 26, 2012 13:55:59 GMT -9
Post by warsaw on May 26, 2012 13:55:59 GMT -9
Black bear and three cubs create spectacle on Spring Street in Leeds
By CHAD CAIN
After being trapped inside a garage at the home of Larry and Betty Jones at 530 Spring Street in Leeds Tuesday, a black bear breaks through a window to escape. Her three cubs later got out of the garage.
NORTHAMPTON - When Larry Jones pulled into the driveway of his Spring Street home in Leeds early Tuesday afternoon, the sight of a black bear standing in front of an open garage didn't surprise him.
"I've had 'em up here hundreds of times," said Jones, the city's former fire chief, who lives at 530 Spring St.
So he signaled his wife, who was inside the house, by honking the truck's horn. When the bear moved a safe distance away, Betty Jones came out and the couple closed the garage door before hopping into the truck. There, they proceeded to wait for the bear, who had come back to the garage, to trot back into the woods.
That's when things got weird. The bear began circling, lying down and looking up at the trees.
"You couldn't get near the garage," said Jones. "She wouldn't let us and you don't want to risk it. They're too fast."
It wasn't until the Joneses heard noise coming from inside the garage that they realized mom wasn't alone. Three bear cubs that had entered the open garage earlier to snack on bird seed were trapped inside.
"We didn't know there were three bears in the garage," Larry Jones said.
Instead of fleeing, the anxious mama bear set about to save her cubs. She grabbed the bottom of the garage door with a front paw and lifted it up about a foot before it slammed shut. She did this several times - each time backing away, frightened by the slamming door - before finally lifting the door high enough to get her nose under it.
She used her snout to lift up the door just enough to get inside. The door shut behind her.
"Once she got inside, then we were in trouble," Jones said.
The bear then broke one of the detached garage's four windows and crawled out. After a failed attempt to rip the window out, the bear, probably hot from being in the garage, sauntered over to take a dip and drink out of a backyard pond.
Refreshed, the bear then went back to the garage window, finished ripping out the frame and rescued her cubs.
"She went back in, came back out with the cubs and left into the woods," Jones said.
He said the bears appeared unharmed, although he'll have to replace the window. He also will check to see if the bear damaged the plastic lining at the bottom of his pond.
Three officers from the Massachusetts Environmental Police and one officer from the Northampton Police Department responded to the incident, which took about three hours to play out.