Three little black bears in New Mexico needed some human help after they decided to go rooting around in a dumpster and got stuck.
Luckily, Shirley Schenk and her husband heard the bears crying through the night, so they grabbed a ladder and their pickup truck and went to their rescue.
In the video, Schenk can be seen lowering the ladder into the dumpster while she stands in the back of the truck.
The bears’ mother, who Schenk told ABC News is “notorious” throughout the neighborhood for dumpster diving, can be seen standing guard near where her cubs are being held captive.
As soon as the truck backs away, three bear cub heads pop up out of dumpster; they gingerly climb out and then scamper away with their mother.
If you watch the video, you can hear someone say, “All three of the babies were in there!”
Black bears were designated as the New Mexico state animal in 1963, are prevalent throughout North America, and as anyone who’s been camping can attest, they’ll eat just about anything. Leave a piece of candy in your car, and you’ll soon find a bear attempting to break in. Improperly latch your bear box, and your food will be gone in the morning. In Schenk’s case, she told ABC News that the bears know how to open the latches of her neighborhood’s dumpsters, which are normally kept closed.
Black bears are usually harmless as long as they’re left well enough alone. They’re known for being timid animals, and mother bears have even been seen fleeing without their cubs after being approached by humans. Nevertheless, experts say it’s best to use extreme caution if you happen to spot one of these bears in the wild, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
“Any time I see them I just go the other direction on purpose, unless we’re playing rescue ranger,” Schenk told ABC News.
Statistically speaking, black bears cause about one human death every four years, and this is usually at the hands of a bear in extremely remote areas that isn’t used to humans, according to the Forest Service.