A black bear that appeared to be stuck in a hollow tree after a winter of hibernation didn’t need any help after all.
U.S. Forest Service biologist Mario Mamone said he went to the tree Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and the bear was long gone.
A banana and an apple he left there weren’t even eaten.
A timber-marking crew first spotted the bear six weeks ago on the Applegate Ranger District of the Rogue River National Forest.
They saw it again last week and were afraid it was stuck, because the opening to its den in the firescarred base of a sugar pine was only 8-by-18 inches, and it ate the chicken and doughnut they offered.
Mamone says even though the bear appeared to be awake when the marking crew first spotted it, it could have still been hibernating.