Juneau County couple film close encounter with injured black bear
The bear appears to have stepped on a small game trap that is now stuck on its paw
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -A couple in Juneau County had a close encounter with a black bear they spotted hobbling through their backyard. After a closer look, they realized the bear needed their help. They caught the entire encounter on video.
“Oh my god, I don’t think I’ve ever been within five feet of a bear before,” Ian Judd said on the video.
Ian and Deb Judd live near Castle Rock Lake in New Lisbon, so seeing wildlife is not uncommon. They’ve even seen bears before in their backyard, but not like this.
“This was first the time we saw one in daylight, it was pretty cool,” said Ian.
“We know they are here, but we don’t live in fear of it,” said Deb. “For us, it’s kind of majestic,”
Their latest encounter took place on Friday and Saturday nights. The bear popped out of the woods and into their back yard in the early evening hours on both days. In the video, you can see the bear has a small game trap stuck on his front right paw.
“I realized he was kind of holding up his right paw and it was really shocking. We really didn’t know what to do,” said Deb.
“I mean, he wasn’t using that foot in anyway shape or form. It was just sort of always off the ground,” said Ian. “He was walking with three (legs). It was a limping motion, but it wasn’t stopping him from attacking the feeders,”
In the video, the bear meanders through the backyard and eventually heads for a bird feeder right outside the back window.
“To have him three feet in front of me and literally looking in his eyes, you get excited so I kind of tapped on the glass a bit and he sort of stood up and I was like oh that was a bad idea,” Deb said with a laugh.
The Judds called the Juneau Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Natural Resources. On Sunday morning, wildlife officials brought out a live trap to catch the bear. They want to then tranquilize it, remove the trap, and then release the bear back into the wild.
“No one wants to see an animal that is in distress like that,” said Kris Johansen, a District Wildlife Supervisor with the DNR.
Johansen says based on what he’s seen in the video, the bear doesn’t seem to have suffered any serious injuries.
“Based on the size and strength of that trap, I don’t believe it would have broken any bones on that bear’s leg,” said Johansen. “It’s hard to speculate how that bear got the trap on its paw but nonetheless it’s there and we are going to try to resolve that now,”
The live trap has been in place for a few days now and so far, no luck.
“Although we haven’t gotten him in the first couple of days, all hope isn’t lost yet,” said Ian.
The Judds are animal lovers and say if they can’t help the bear, they hope someone else can spot him and report it to the DNR so eventually, the bear gets free.
“I want to get that trap off his foot, let him go about his business, do what bears do and ransack some other people’s bird feeders,” said Ian with a chuckle.
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