-- This Is What Happens When an On-Duty Policeman Comes Face-to-Face with a Wild Bear

 Being a member of the State Police is all about enforcing the rules, dealing with lawbreakers, patrolling the streets, and maintaining order. Though some days are less dangerous than others, it is never an easy job, especially when you’re called to put your life on the line in dealing with dangerous offenders.

However, being a police officer isn’t always about enforcing the law – it’s also about protecting civilians from danger. Sometimes, these threats do not come from human lawbreakers and criminals. Indeed, in the case you’re about to discover, the danger came from a wild animal. The bear at the center of the story was so terrifyingly large it could’ve mauled many people without breaking a sweat. 

The incredible incident went down in New Hampshire, and as a result, one policeman was faced with an almighty challenge while on duty. Read on to discover the bizarre situation he found himself in.

It Takes Quick Thinking to Save Lives

Normally, when you encounter a bear, your priority will be escaping as quickly and discreetly as possible, especially if the bear happens to have a cub or two with it. Sadly, this wasn’t possible for State Trooper Thomas Owens, as the bear he came across was blocking an important road, leading to a huge traffic jam.

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As a police officer, it was Owens’ duty to balance the safety of the drivers stuck in traffic with the welfare of the animals and, of course, his own safety. When he approached the scene, he realized immediately that something was amiss with the bear.

Being a State Trooper Was His Destiny

It never occurred to Thomas Owens that he would have to come face-to-face with a bear, let alone that his encounter would be in the middle of a highway of all places. During his days as a senior high school student, many of his peers and colleagues had their eyes on prestigious colleges and high-earning careers.

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However, Owens had his sights set on another path: he wanted to become a state trooper. To this end, he enrolled in the academy after graduating high school. A few years later, Owens landed a job as the newest member of the New Hampshire State Police.

Answering the Call of Duty

Once he was inducted into the New Hampshire State Police, Thomas Owens was over the moon about being able to serve and protect his community. Soon after becoming a new member, however, he would have to deal with a road-blocking bear – an encounter he never imagined when picturing his future as a state trooper.

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How could anyone predict that an anonymous tip would one day come in about a bear wreaking havoc in the middle of a road? But that’s precisely what happened, and Ownes was deployed by the State Police to attend the scene. Although the situation was unique, it wasn’t the first time bear-related issues had been reported in that area.

Wildlife Protection

The bear-related incident took place on a road near Bretton Woods, which spans over 700 acres of woodlands. The environment is a popular attraction for both humans and animals, which inevitably leads to potentially dangerous encounters. While skiers come to enjoy the slopes and epic scenery at the nearby resort, many animals, including bears, call Bretton Woods their home. 

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Along with your typical woodland mammals, over 200 bird species call this area their home, which means that Bretton Woods is an important wildlife protection zone. Officer Owens was about to get up close and personal with an imposing creature he’d never even seen in real life before.

A Terrible Traffic Jam

Being a police officer, Owens has seen his fair share of bad traffic jams, but the one he saw on his way to the scene was the worst he’d ever encountered. It stretched for miles, and since the road connected to a popular ski resort, it was only going to get worse if something wasn’t done.

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As a state trooper, Owens was able to put his lights on and bypass all the chaos in order to reach his destination. The area was already blocked off when he arrived, giving him a clear (and terrifying) view of the cause: a bear that was pacing anxiously back and forth on the same spot, refusing to leave the road.

How Do You Handle a Road-Blocking Bear?

Any case involving bears must be taken very seriously, especially when it comes to black bears, which are known to be very dangerous. The fact that the one Owens was facing was particularly big didn’t help! Things could get messy fast if the creature decided to go on a rampage.

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Even though dealing with dangerous animals was a part of Owens’s state trooper training, he never would have expected that he’d have to apply this aspect of his training in a real-life situation. Yet there he was, faced with an unhappy black bear. Not only was his career at stake, but his life as well.

First Things First

Before he began to deal with the bear, Thomas Owens knew he had to redirect all motorists in order to protect them from being attacked by the creature. He began shouting out to all the drivers to turn around and head back in the other direction, thus preventing any potential collateral damage.

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While Owens was redirecting traffic, he and the local police officers on the scene began surrounding the bear with large steel sheets in order to prevent her from escaping. With the sheets set up and all motorists at a safe distance from the bear, it fell to Thomas to decide what to do next.

The Agitated Creature Was Pacing Wildly

As Owens slowly approached the bear, he began to notice that something was off with the way she moved. First of all, the bear was pacing back and forth between the two sides of the road. Though he wasn’t an expert on near behavior, Owens knew this was unusual.

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In similar cases, bears would typically stay in one place. However, this black bear was clearly restless, frantically pacing back and forth from one side of the road to the other. Was there a reason why she had become so fixated on the road? Owens had a feeling there was a deeper meaning to her behavior, and he was determined to figure out what it was.

Inching Closer

With all the cars out of the way, Owens could finally approach the bear without any more worries. He took this opportunity to inch his way towards the animal as she anxiously moved back and forth. The bear did not even notice him as he drew near.

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Owens wanted to find out the cause of the bear’s distress without aggravating her. He had to be careful not to frighten or provoke her lest he trigger an attack. For his stealth and tactfulness, Owens was about to be rewarded with a revelation that would clarify the bear’s predicament and reveal to him what he needed to do.

Parental Instincts Kicking Into Overdrive

Bear mothers can be very overprotective of their cubs and will do whatever it takes to keep them out of harm’s way. Through his knowledge of this behavior, Owens was finally able to understand the cause of her situation. Not only was she trying to guard one cub, but three of them!

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All of the cubs were right behind her as she repeatedly paced between the two sides of the road. Despite their youth and small stature, these cubs were already strong enough to keep up with their mighty mama. Though this accounted for the mama bear’s agitation, it raised an all-new question: why was this bear family stuck in the middle of the road?

An Unusual Bear Family 

Normally, mother bears rear two cubs at most, so Owens was surprised to see that this black bear had three cubs in tow. However, he was about to be hit with an even bigger surprise: this mama had a fourth baby. And it was this hidden cub who was the cause of the problems. The fourth baby bear was lying motionless, explaining why the mother and the other cubs were pacing back and forth in such distress.

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Since they didn’t want to leave him there, the family ended up causing a huge traffic jam. The mother was fully aware that her fourth baby wasn’t going to be moving anytime soon, yet she was determined to stay and look after him. At this point, Owens noticed something incredible.

Please Get Up

Owens witnessed the mother’s parental instincts kick in as she approached the barely-conscious cub and lowered her head. She nudged him slightly with her face as if she was trying to check on him. Afterward, she would walk to the other side of the road, ensure her other babies were okay, and then return to inspect him again.

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The mother repeated this process over and over, and the cub still fails to get up. Owens, who kept on quietly observing the family, was trying to anticipate what might happen next. He was one of only a few people who got to see the next events unfold.

She Couldn’t Save Him

After a while, it became clear to the mother that the cub was a lost cause. Owens knew that something was wrong with the baby bear when it refused to move despite multiple nudgings from its mama. A few minutes later, the mother finally gave up and left the scene with her remaining offspring.

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Even though the mother decided to move on and go back to the woods, Owens was able to see that the motionless cub was still very much alive. He knew there was still hope for its survival, so he took this opportunity to inspect the cub himself.

Saving the Cub’s Life

With the mother having left the scene, Owens knew he might be able to save the cub’s life. He rushed over to inspect the abandoned creature. The mother could return and attack him at any moment, so Owens checked the cub quickly before distancing himself once more.

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When Owens approached the cub, it was laying on the road with its eyes closed. However, it soon started moving again, trying to get to its feet. Why was this cub struggling so much? And what made the mother decide that nothing could be done to save it?

The Cub Dropped Down Again

For a brief moment, it looked as if the cub had finally recovered. But then he lost his balance and collapsed once more. Without a doubt, the cub was sick and in dire need of immediate medical attention. Thinking on his feet, Owens picked up the ailing bear cub and brought it to his vehicle.

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Once inside the car, Owens quickly drove to the nearby New Hampshire Fish and Game Center, where he dropped the tiny bear cub off. He hoped the people there would be able to attend to its needs. However, it wasn’t long before he was back in possession of the cub, taking it somewhere else.

Medical Attention Needed!

When Owens arrived at the Fish and Game Center, the officers saw that the cub was in need of urgent medical care. The staff recommended that Owens take the cub to a rehab center in Lyme, New Hampshire. So, the state trooper left right away to ensure he got to the place before the baby bear took a turn for the worse. 

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As soon as he arrived at the rehab center, a team of vets greeted him and Owens handed the cub over. The tiny bear was finally given the medical attention it so desperately needed. Despite spending the whole night attending to the cub’s needs, the team had bad news for Owens the next morning.

The Cub Might Not Make It

It was clear that the cub was very likely to meet his fate – the poor little thing was in terrible shape. Owens had feared that the cub would die on the road or in his car on the way to the vet. Yet, it had survived this long, despite the odds.

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Seeing how poorly the cub was doing, he understood why the mother had made the difficult choice to leave him. The lives of her other cubs would have been in danger as well if she had stuck around. Owens could only imagine how painful the choice must have been. He also learned an interesting lesson about the mother during that incident.

There Was Another Baby Missing

Owens soon became the subject of discussion among the public as his story spread. Eventually, the officers decided to tell him something they’d been keeping back about the incident: as it turns out, the mother was actually raising a total of five cubs! Even having three cubs was a rarity among black bears.

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Five was beyond what anyone had ever seen from their species, so the bears were minor celebrities among nature enthusiasts in the area. Not only did this mean that the mother had to leave behind her fourth cub on the road, but she had also lost a fifth prior to the road incident. Owens wasn’t sure if she left the fifth one behind for the same reason as the fourth, but he knew exactly what needed to be done.

The Search Begins

Owens was dismayed by the fact that another cub was missing, so he decided to have his team do something about that second lost cub. He wanted the whole family to be reunited and was determined to do everything in his power to make it happen. 

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Owens, along with a group of rangers and a K9 unit, scoured the nearby woods for the fifth cub’s scent. With extra help, he was hoping that they would be able to track down the missing creature. Many hours passed as they searched for the cub, and then their efforts revealed something no-one expected to find. 

The Fifth Cub Was Found In The Most Unexpected Place

Remember that patch of road on which we met officer Owens and the bear family? As it turns out, the fifth cub was in the same area, just not as visible as cub number four. The police wondered whether the mother would return to this spot to check on her lost babies.

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It was theorized that both the mother and cubs would remember the spot. If there was ever a place for a reunion, that would be it. But before they could get their hopes up too high, it was essential for the injured babies to receive medical attention. Just like its fallen brother, the fifth cub was in very bad shape.

The Road to Recovery

Both cubs received intensive care and were bottle-fed for a few days before they finally made a full recovery. With their physical and mental distress taken care of, the cubs went back to being playful and adorably energetic. Even though their survival chances were slim, the brave little cubs managed to cling to life.

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With the rescue mission declared a definite success, Owens and the vets were having the time of their lives hanging out with the now-healthy cubs. Although they wanted to spend more quality time with their new furry friends, Owens and the vets were worried about their safety. They knew they had to act fast if they wanted to have a hope of returning the cubs to their mother.

Ready for a Reunion

In order for the bear family’s lives to go back to normal, the medical staff diligently made sure the cubs were physically ready to go back to the wilderness. Though they seemed to be in perfect health, the cubs may have had more problems beneath the surface.

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Owens took it upon himself to look after the babies while the vets were finalizing their tests. It was a harrowing experience for both the humans and the cubs, but it all turned out well in the end. In addition to saving the lives of the baby bears, the team’s unwavering devotion caught the attention of some important people.

The Hero of Carroll

The New Hampshire State Police decided to share the story of Owens and the bears. They praised him for his dedication to saving lives and his ability to remain calm under pressure. As soon as the post went up on social media, more praise rolled in from all over the world, with many people calling Owens a guardian angel to those bears.

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Though everything is now back to normal, Owens still feels compelled to check on the family from time to time. To this day, Officer Thomas Owens dedicates himself to looking out for the bears of Carroll while also fulfilling his duties as a state trooper.

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