This is the moment Florida officials remove a plastic container from the head of a tranquillised bear after the animal was stuck with it around its neck for a month.
The female bear, which weighs around 250 lbs (17.9 stone), was spotted wandering around Collier County in the south-eastern US state of Florida with the container around its head for 28 days before eventually being captured.
After two initial sightings, the bear vanished for three weeks and when it was finally spotted again, it still had the container on its head.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission coordinated with the local police department, bear contractors and bear biologists to set traps in the area.
A spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said: “Finally, the bear was spotted on a resident’s security camera, still wearing the container on its head!
“Staff set new traps and started night patrols of the neighborhood. They finally spotted the 250lb female bear just before midnight.”
The animal was tranquillised and a bear biologist carefully removed the container from around its head.
It is believed that the plastic object was part of an automated pet feeder that became attached to the bear’s head when it tried to get at the food inside the feeder.
However, as there was a hole at the end, the bear was able to drink during the 28 days the container was stuck around its head, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This enabled it to survive and not die of starvation or dehydration.
The organisation also said: “Even after 28 days of wearing it, the bear was still in great physical shape!
“She did have a wound encircling her neck and face where the feeder was stuck, but staff cleaned the injury and treated her with antibiotics.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission added: “After a day and a half of monitoring to make sure she was healthy and able to eat and drink normally, the bear was released by staff in a secure area of Picayune Strand State Forest.”
The Florida black bear, a subspecies of American black bear, is found in forested wetlands, natural pinelands, and even in swamps in the state.
As solitary animals, they gather in areas with plentiful food and need to consume around 20,000 calories a day in the lead up to hibernation.
Bears often find the needed calories in litter and local residents are advised to keep food and rubbish out of sight.