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Cowboy ropes orphaned bear cub to rescue it for rehab

Staples, Minn., area conservation officer Jeff Halverson has been handling a lot of bear calls this year, but one recent call was from a local who handled the bear for him.

A resident near Motley found a bear cub whose mother had been killed. Knowing that he was orphaned, the cowboy decided to get the cub out of a nearby tree so it could be removed by Halverson. He did it with his own lasso.

"The mom was killed on the highway and the cub was up a tree," Halverson said. "Being the cowboy he was, he roped it and got it out of the tree."

Halverson said the cub was about 10 pounds and cute as a little puppy - with some very long claws.

The cowboy had the bear in a kennel and ready for Halverson to take to the Garrison Animal Hospital.

"Hopefully he gets rehabbed," Halverson said.

While the cowboy managed to handle the cub without injury, Halverson reminds people in general he doesn't recommend touching or approaching young animals like this.

Halverson has had an abnormal amount of bear calls this season.

"I would say this is by far the most people have been seeing them," Halverson said.

In most cases, the bears are looking for food and Halverson has a tip:

Remove any food source. Bird feeders, garbage cans, cat/dog food.

"Keep it bear proof," Halverson said of food containers.

Food that is removed for 10 to 14 days generally gives bears the message to move on.

"This is breeding season," Halverson said. "Those yearlings are getting kicked loose and there's a lack of food."

Once July 1 comes, Halverson said the calls start to drop off as more bears start finding berries and other foods out in the woods away from yards and out of reach of most lassos.

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