Think parallel parking is a headache? Try maneuvering a pickup back and forth over a black bear without crushing it.
Deputies in northern Michigan had to do just that Tuesday morning to free a small black bear that had gotten itself wedged beneath a 58-year-old woman’s vehicle, according to the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office.
The woman had been driving her Ford truck down a highway in Suttons Bay Township around 10:30 a.m. when the bear ran into the roadway — and before she had a chance to stop, the wild animal was already underneath her vehicle, deputies said.
That’s where deputies and animal control found the bear when they responded to the scene. The bear was still alive, but it was definitely stuck.
One of the deputies took the wheel of the pickup and gingerly maneuvered it back and forth, trying to avoid again hitting the bear. Finally, he was able to drive away and free the animal, video shows.
It took some coaxing, but authorities were able to get the animal back into the woods after its scrape with death, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies said it looked like the bear was relatively unscathed. The woman’s pickup wasn’t hurt, either.
The bear should probably count its blessings: Earlier this month, another bear in the county had an encounter with a vehicle that was deadly, according to the Leelanau County Road Commission.
A young female black bear was hit and killed on Michigan’s Highway 22 and had to be removed from the roadway July 11, the commission said.
Authorities estimated the bear was about a year old.
“Picking up any animal that has been killed is never something we want to do, so please slow down a bit and keep your eyes peeled for anything that may dart into your lane,” the commission wrote on Facebook.
The driver in that incident wasn’t hurt, the commission said.