Local Woman Recounts Daring ‘Bucket Bear’ Rescue

IMG_0615PERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (EYT) – It was a Labor Day that one local animal-loving couple will never forget.

Samantha Eigenbrod and her fiancé Dean Hornbeger, both of Sligo, heard about a trapped bear from their friend who was driving through the West Freedom/Parker area on August 31 and saw it along the main road with what was thought at the time to be a bucket on its head.

After posting pictures of the trapped bear on Facebook, their friend found out that the bear had the “bucket” on its head for over a month.

The local game commissioner and other officials were made aware that the bear was in need of help, and a “Save the Bucket Bear” Facebook page was created in hopes that officials would rescue it.

Samantha told exploreClarion.com, “We are huge animal lovers, and we do our best at helping any animal in need, no matter the size or what type of animal….It broke my heart to hear about this bear, and we thought the chances of being able to find it – or help it – were slim.”IMG_0613

On Labor Day morning, Samantha and Dean drove around in their vehicle for approximately 30 minutes looking for the bear. They finally stopped and decided to walk through the woods in search of it. After about two hours, Dean spotted the bear along Route 368 towards Parker, Pa.

“Although it was assumed there was a bucket on the bear’s head, it was actually an airbag from a semi truck stuck and suctioned around the cub’s head,” explained Samantha.

“The bear cub was probably about a year old and was very underweight, probably about 100 pounds or so,” continued Samantha.

“Dean tried to pull off the airbag, but he wasn’t having much luck.”

All the while, Samantha was recording the incident on her phone.

As she attempted to get the traffic to slow down, Shawn Balcita, Eric Kriebel, and Kaitlyn Lakin stopped to help Dean.

It was impossible to pull the airbag off the bear’s head, and after about 40 minutes of cutting and prying at the airbag, the rescuers finally removed it from the bear’s head, and the bear took off up the hill, according to Samantha.

No injuries were reported.

The video has garnered attention from various regional and national media outlets, including WPXI, WTAE, RightThisMinute, and the Patriot News.

In the video, Shawn Balcita is the one in the orange shirt; Eric Kriebel is the one who is standing at the front of the bear’s head; and Kaitlyn Lakin is on top, trying to keep the bear still.

Copyright © 2023 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Comments are temporarily closed. A new and improved comments section will be added soon.