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Researchers Have a Close Encounter With Bear

BearDen

A team of bear researchers got a little too close and personal with a black bear in the Vermont woods recently.

UVM students and researchers with the Vermont Department of Wildlife were checking up on a bear in its den as part of the multi-year study of black bears near the Searsburg wind project.

Apparently the 168-pound bear was awake and outside its den when the group arrives, but retreated into its den. It appears they were going to try to tranquilize the bear in its den, but things didn't go quite as planned.

First the bear snatches a backpack near the mouth of the den, which is retrieved by a researcher who reaches in and grabs it and wins a tug-o-war with the, as of yet unseen, bear.

But then the bear lunges partway out of the den as the researcher scrambles backward, putting the backpack between himself and the bear, which seems to be sizing him up as it exits the den. After a momentary pause, the bear streaks away, but not before a Fish & Wildlife researcher can shoot it with a tranquilizer gun.

The rest of the video shows the team conducting a health check on the tranquilized bear and then returning it to its den.

The researchers said the bear recovered and is doing well.

Click here to watch the video.