Cone Of Silence

I love sucking on a good jar of peanut butter. It tastes great and is less filling than a bacon-squirrel sandwich. Hey, a dog has to watch his weight sometimes.

The problem, of course, is that the buttery goodness is difficult to get at when it’s inside that jar. That’s where an abnormally long tongue, and lots of patience, helps.

I could teach a college course on the best way to attack treats not easily accessible.

My first student? This bear from Ocala National Forest.

It may seem like a comical picture to many, but the bear was just days away from dying of starvation when he was rescued, as he hadn’t been able to eat or drink for more than a week.

The plight of the cub, which lives in the sprawling Ocala National Forest, was brought to the attention of the wildlife authorities after he was seen by residents wandering around with the container on his head.

It’s thought that he poked his head into it while rummaging through rubbish for food.

The cub, dubbed ‘Jarhead’, proved enormously elusive, with a tracking team taking 10 days to find him.

The mother had been avoiding traps for several days, so the team had assumed they were going to be too late to save her young son.

Luckily, they eventually caught up with the group after they fresh sightings by locals.

The mother was put to sleep with a tranquilizing dart while officials removed the container from the cub’s head.

Once the mother came round, she was moved with her siblings to a more remote part of the forest, away from human rubbish bins.

Mike Orlando, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said: ‘Although the story appears to have a happy ending, it truly illustrates one of the worst things that can happen when wildlife gets into garbage.’

Winnie the Pooh would have been proud.


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