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10/21/2014
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Ketchikan man saves bear cub that had head stuck in jar - KETCHIKAN, Alaska - A tiny bear cub received another chance at life when local hiker Michael Schuler released its head from a plastic jug on the top of Deer Mountain on Sunday.Schuler said Tuesday that he had gone up the mountain that day to conduct some avalanche testing. Because it was a beautiful day, he decided to head up to the summit with Josie the dog. About 10 feet from the top, he saw what at first glance appeared to be a human lying in the snow."I thought, 'Uh oh. How am I going to deal with this?'" he said.Schuler worked his way up to the hairy object and realized it was an animal with its head stuck in a jar, but it was covered with snow and he couldn't tell what it was."I knew it wasn't a marten, ... so I thought it was either a bear cub or a wolverine," he said, adding that he thought: "A bear cub I can handle, but if it's a wolverine and I pull that thing off, I'm toast."Schuler said he made a couple of calls on his cell phone, trying to track down a wildlife official for some advice. He wasn't able to contact anyone - and in the meantime figured out that wolverines don't live in this area - so "I finally just decided to have a go at this," all the time wondering whether an anxious sow was nearby."That's always the first question: 'Where's mamma?'" he said.
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