An enterprising and slightly chunky bear got stuck in a garbage truck and was taken down the highway to a North Carolina landfill. Almost.
Black bears. They’re cute, but they’re also large and somewhat threatening, even though they rarely attack people. They are, however, often found near human settlement. Why do black bears congregate around people? One word: garbage.
Most human refuse is filled with the cast-off remains of whatever we didn’t eat for dinner the night before, and those cast-offs are a smorgasbord for hungry bears. Considering that black bears often supplement their diet with carrion, an open trash can is like a free candlelit dinner with a glass of wine and unlimited breadsticks.
It also means that black bears can also be found with greater frequency on garbage day. Sometimes they’ll even go right up to a garbage truck to snag a free meal. And in the case of one black bear, get stuck and almost be taken all the way to a landfill.
The scene was early Wednesday morning on Route 17 just outside Windsor, North Carolina. Motorists saw the bizarre scene of a black bear caught in a garbage truck's netting being driven down the highway. Some began calling Bertie County emergency dispatch, which after getting a number of these reports, sent a sheriff out to pull over the bear-laden garbage truck.
But before they did, they got a nice picture of the portly boy and posted it to the Windsor/Bertie County Facebook page.
The garbage truck driver was completely oblivious to the fact he had picked up a stowaway. Officials assume that the truck acquired its resident black bear during one of its many stops on the morning rounds. After clambering into the refuse, the bear became stuck when the netting was deployed to keep the garbage from blowing out onto the highway.
Once stopped, the truck driver removed the netting and the bear shot off into the woods.
According to the Charlotte Observer, this is the second time in 6 months that police have had to respond to this exact issue.