Exhausted and scared: Kenny, a bear with a bucket on his head, rescued from tree

A bear cub nicknamed Kenny has a new lease on life after he was found with a bucket on his head and rescued from the top of a tree in northern Ontario.

Trevor Buchmann and his friend Greg rescued the bear on Sunday after Buchmann noticed Kenny stuck in a tree along a body of water near Kirkland Lake, Ont., about 140 kilometres southeast of Timmins.

“I looked over the edge and saw the big red bucket and realized it was a little bear cub,” Buchmann told CTV News.

Video of the rescue shows Greg climbing the tree to try and catch Kenny, but the bear climbs all the way to the very top of the tree. Eventually, Kenny climbs down from the top and falls into the water, where Buchmann was able to grab the bear and bring him to shore.

The two men were able to take off the container, believed to be a protein powder jar, and place the bear cub into a kennel. 

“It was exhausted and it hadn’t eaten and it was scared,” Buchmann said. “We had some fresh-picked frozen strawberries. So the bear got a whole bunch of our frozen strawberries.”

People in the area had seen the bear cub roaming in the area for about a week, but until this weekend no one had been able to capture Kenny.

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On Monday, Kenny was taken to Bear With Us Centre for Bears, a specialized rehabilitation centre in Sprucedale, Ont., about 350 kilometres south of Kirkland Lake.

Mike McIntosh, founder and president of the centre, who’s been rescuing bears for 28 years, said Kenny likely found the container at the local dump.

“Whether the cub was looking for food or not, if something was in that jug that smelled sweet or smelled good, it’s going to lick it,” he said.

McIntosh expects Kenny to be released from his centre next summer, but first will have to make friends with some of the other bears at the facility.

“Once he gains back some of his strength, he’ll be introduced to some of the orphaned cubs right here already,” he said.

McIntosh said this is the second time this month that a bear has been found with a bucket on its head. He added that humans need to take more care of what they throw into the trash.

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