WATCH: Bear with bucket on its head freed after a week of sightings

Two men were able to get the bear up a tree until wildlife officials arrived to help.


It started as an interesting lunch interruption.

Drew McConaughy and Dave Sherman were enjoying a meal outside a home they've been working on near Boulder, Colorado, when a disturbance occurred.

"We were just sitting having lunch around noon and we heard a rustle down in the woods so we went down to investigate and we saw the bear running through the woods with a bucket on its head," McConaughy told KMGH.

Turns out, the same bear had been spotted by others in the area for about a week.

"We figured the bear was probably in distress," McConaughy said.

Sherman said it was "almost like the bear was saying, 'Hey, I need some help.'"

After reporting the bear sighting to parks and wildlife officials, the friends came up with a plan.

"Drew said he wanted to tackle it and I said I don't know if I want a part of that, so we kind of chased it up the tree," Sherman said.

McConaughy said as the bear started going up the tree, they realized it was probably the safest scenario.

"We just encouraged that so once she was up there, we did everything we could to keep her up there, until, you know, the professionals arrived," McConaughy said.

Once wildlife officials reached the bear, they tranquilized it and brought it down to cut the bucket from its head.

The bear was then sent back into the wild after wildlife officials performed a hazing exercise to reinforce the bear's fear of humans.

"Bears should be afraid of humans, you know, case in point — how this bear got into this situation in the first place is obviously it broke into someone's chicken coop and got the feeder stuck on its head," said Jason Clay of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

While many might be scared by an encounter with a bear, McConaughy feels differently.

"This bear has — I don't know — it's a positive light from here on out," he said.