Midwestern Bonding: Wisconsin Family Rescues Young Black Bear Swimming In Lake With Jug Stuck On Its Head

Bear swimming with jug
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This is the Midwestern kindness that we all hear so much about.

Black bears are funny creatures.

They can go from bumbling and silly to absolutely vicious in the blink of an eye, but for the most part will leave humans alone and do their best to survive in any environment, from the deep woods of Appalachia to the suburbs of Connecticut.

But as bears get more comfortable being around humans and human things (namely garbage) there’s certainly going to be a few mishaps along the way, one of which we see in this video from Wisconsin.

Brian Hurt had taken his wife, Tricia, and son, Brady, out on Marsh-Miller Lake for a day of fishing, but the day’s excitement didn’t come from hooking a lunker, it happened while they were heading back to the boat landing.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brady was the first one to see something in the water but thought it was a rock. His father thought it might be a dog, but when they got a bit closer, it was Tricia who realized that it was a bear in a very precarious situation.

A black bear had not only found itself in the middle of the lake, but it had also gotten its head stuck in a cheese ball container and was clearly struggling to stay afloat and get enough air to survive.

Even though approaching a distressed wild animal could be dangerous, the family immediately jumped into action.

Brady took control of the boat while Brian began directing a rescue operation. Tricia filmed the whole thing and gave some commentary on what exactly was happening.

“We got a bear here, poor thing’s got a tub on its head. Oh it’s getting scared… Trying to figure out how we’re going to get this tub off its head.”

The first attempt was close, but Brian was unable to pull it off the bear’s head and it eventually swam a bit off, so they had to regroup and try again.

The tension in the air was palpable, but I have to give lots of credit to Brian, who told his son he did a great job, they just had to try one more time in a cool proud dad moment.

The second attempt was successful and Brian topped it off with a classic dad saying of:

“Good job, buddy!”

Gotta love the family teamwork there. That’s certainly going to be a moment they relive many, many times in the future and I’m glad they got a video for all of us to watch as well.

Big shoutout to the Hurt family. The relief that bear felt must have been otherworldly…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock