Firefighters Save Two Adorable Bear Cubs Trapped Inside a Tree

Hearing desperate cries coming from a wooded area nearby, a concerned cabin owner in Milltown, Wisconsin, ventured out to find the snouts of two baby bear cubs sticking out of a hole in a huge cottonwood tree.

Unsure as to whether the cubs were truly stuck, the woman decided to return to check on them the next day — and the snouts were still there.

After calling the authorities to help, two wardens from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, along with Tammi Larson, who runs a wildlife rehabilitation facility in the area, went to the scene.

When they arrived they discovered the pair of bear cubs who appeared to have crawled into the tree, but were unable to crawl out.

“In 15 years of being a warden I haven’t seen bears caught in a tree before. I’ve seen lots of bears, just none that were trapped like that,” warden Jesse Ashton said.

Ashton believed that when the cubs had climbed into the tree, some dead debris had fallen down behind them, sealing the hole and trapping them inside.

As mother bear was nowhere to be found, Larson said that she had likely been killed by hunters or a vehicle, but thankfully the cubs were old enough to survive on their own.

“They couldn’t get out, but they had chewed a little hole so one of them could stick his snout through and cry,” Larson said.

Knowing that they didn’t have the equipment to free the cubs, the wardens asked for the help of the local Milltown Fire Department. Armed with a chainsaw, the firefighters carefully cut an opening in the base of the tree, while one of the baby bears looked on from his hole.

“We cut a hole in the tree and then we all backed off and waited,” warden Phil Dorn said. “The cubs crawled out and ran back into the woods.”

Although in pretty good shape considering, Larson could see that the bears were dehydrated so she offered them some watermelon to help quench their thirst, which they ate right away. The cubs stuck around the scene for a while checking out the onlookers before eventually scampering off.

With all three of North America’s bear species, the black bear, the grizzly bear, and the polar bear, threatened by habitat loss and other human-created issues, these two babies are fortunate to have such a lucky escape.

Bears play an important role in the ecosystem, and protecting them is everyone’s responsibility.

Photo Credit: Tammi Larson


Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

Awwwww... I am so glad these babies were rescued. A big THANK YOU to all involved in helping these little guys!!

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Loretta P.
Loretta P3 years ago

Precious little babies. Thank you to all who contributed in their rescue.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

Thanks to all involved for the rescue. Thanks for sharing.

Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey4 years ago

Hopefully a happy ending

Graziella Veri
Graziella Veri4 years ago

noted,liked and shared.Thank you

Mandy H.
Mandy H4 years ago

It's great to hear a story about people doing the right thing by animals!

Sheila S.
Sheila S4 years ago

Heartwarming story! From a concerned citizen's phone call to the magnificent team work of multiple service providers - this is a truly happy ending!

Joan McBride
Joan McBride4 years ago

Kudos to all who played a part in rescuing the young bears.

maria reis
maria reis4 years ago

My best wishes for them.