Cop Stumped When Bear Refuses To Move, Looks Closer And Realizes He Has To Act Fast


The enormous creature scraped its sharp claws on the tarmac as it paced back and forth on the road. These animals blended into the night, but during the day their presence was all too obvious. He knew he had to act, and fast.


A Scene


Thomas Owens' knuckles turned white as he gripped the wheel. The traffic was backing up by the second, and the sharp hooting of horns was growing more insistent. People were losing patience, and the beast was growing angrier. He edged his vehicle past and got out. Then, he noticed more dark shapes in the bushes.



Thomas Owens as a boy had been obsessed with fast cars and car chases. When he arrived home from school, he would turn the TV on in hopes of catching a high-speed chase on the news. Some cases would end in tragedy, but he especially loved seeing them end in justice.


Usually, law enforcement was able to catch the bad guys, restoring peace and safety to the roads. Nevertheless, Thomas' mother was concerned about his love for high-speed chases. And her mothers' intuition was not wrong.



On Thomas’ 16th birthday, his father practically had to pry the car keys from his mother's hands. She was terrified about her son driving on the dangerous roads. He could be a danger to himself, or worse, a danger to others.




In a stern tone, she said: “It’s a small town, Thomas. If we get one sniff of you being reckless, you can say goodbye to the truck.” Thomas may have been young, but he wasn't reckless. He knew just how dangerous the roads could be. But he never expected anything to ever happen to his parents.

An Incident That Changed His Life

Facebook/Linda J Shlapack

Thomas, loving his newfound freedom, drove his friends to and from school. He cruised to his part-time job at the local grocery store and was always mindful of driving carefully. But one day, he arrived home to discover his mother's car missing.


The Daily Gazette

Thomas, panicking, called his father and discovered his mother had been involved in a hit-and-run. He couldn't understand the irresponsibility of some drivers. He was distraught and stayed by his mother's side for weeks. The incident made its mark on him and changed the course of his future.

Easy Decision

Valley College

When Thomas was in senior year, his friends all chattered excitedly about going off to college. They wanted to become doctors, nurses, and athletes. When he told them about what his plans were, they weren't surprised.


Job Description


Thomas had changed. After his mother's accident, he was all too aware of the dangers of reckless driving and lost his obsession with car-chases. He decided to become a state trooper. But he never expected some aspects of the job description.

State Trooper

New Hampshire State Police

On that fateful day, Thomas was faced with a situation he could have never anticipated. There was a huge commotion up ahead, and the line of cars stretched for miles. He edged past the traffic, but he had no idea what was awaiting him on the road. But he had a sick feeling that whatever it was, it was serious.

A Commotion

A Modern LI

Thomas thought that someone must be having car trouble, but as he drew closer, he could see exactly what was blocking the traffic. and he could never unsee the scene again.


Yellowstone National Park

There was a huge black animal on the road up ahead. Then, Thomas saw people, unaware of the danger, getting out their cars to see what had caused the backup. Then, he started to yell.


Dangerous Animals

Caltrans District 7

The area of Bretton Woods is home to abundant species of wildlife, with over 200 types of bird alone. It was no surprise that the 700-acre tract had become a protected wilderness. Thomas had no idea that he was about to see Bretton Wood's fiercest creature up close.

Black Bears

Steel Horse Journeys

Encounters with black bears were common, however, each interaction may have a different outcome. None of Thomas' training had ever addressed what to do when an aggressive black bear blocks the road.


Wildlife On The Road

This black bear was particularly dangerous, although Thomas didn't know it -- yet. It stood like a mass of black fur, immovable in the middle of the road. But why wouldn't it move? Surely the cars and the blaring horns would scare it off?

Middle Of The Road

Visit My Smokies

It was chaos as the bear paced angrily back and forth on the busy road. Thomas yelled for the drivers to return to the safety of their cars. Bears are dangerous, but they are usually shy. Why was this one different?



Yellowstone's Photo Collection

Chaos erupted as the drivers scrabbled back into their cars, realizing what lay on the road ahead. They were, fortunately, protected by heavy steel. But Thomas, on foot, had nowhere to hide.

Something Wrong


The drivers fell quiet as they waited, terrified for what would happen next. Thomas motioned for them all to turn back -- this bear wasn't moving, and nobody could make her.

Sick Cub

Cars screeched around as they turned off the road. Then, Thomas saw why the bear had refused to leave. She had cubs. He mustered up all his courage and started to walk towards the bear in the hopes of chasing her off.



Then Thomas realized that one bear cub was struggling to walk. He inched closer and counted. There were 4 cubs, but only one was not moving. The smallest cub sat down, defeated. Something was very wrong.

Wouldn't Move

Stef Olcen Photography

The cubs were young but old enough to walk on their own. But the one wouldn't budge from its place on the busy road. The mother bear seemed to be growing more restless by the minute, then she did something unexpected.


The mother bear walked back towards her smallest cub and began to nudge it with her nose. She walked to and fro with the expectation that the cub would follow, but he didn't. Thomas couldn’t believe his luck. He had never seen a bear with three cubs, let alone four! But then, his heart sank.


State Trooper

After a few heartbreaking minutes of watching the mother bear struggle to get the cub to stand, he knew the situation was becoming dire. Then, the mother, seemingly resigned, returned to the trees with her remaining cubs -- leaving the little cub to its fate.



As soon as the dangerous mother bear was out of sight, Thomas rushed to inspect the abandoned cub. To his dismay, he saw that it could barely keep its eyes open. It tried to get up but collapsed. Something was wrong with this cub. Thomas acted quickly, scooping the cub up and racing back to the squad car. But time was running out.

Left Alone

ABC News

Thomas drove as quickly as he could to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Center. But he couldn't help but wonder, why had the mother bear just abandoned her sick cub in the road?

Miracle Cub

Facebook/New Hampshire State Police

Black bears are known to give birth to two cubs. Three were rare, but four were unprecedented. Some were stronger than others. The vets and nurses worked tirelessly through the night to keep the bear cub alive.


Earth Touch

Thomas, after pondering, suddenly realized the logic behind the abandonment of the bear cub by its mother. Even though the bear was fat and well-cared for, the likelihood of its survival in the wild was low if it was sick. If the mother bear had stayed with her sick cub, she would be putting herself and her healthy cubs in danger.


Facebook/Town of Carroll Police Department

The news of Thomas' heroic act spread across the town like wildfire. Then, he received some shocking news. Eye-witnesses had seen that the mother bear was accompanied by five bear cubs, not four. But where was the fifth cub? Thomas knew exactly what to do.


Facebook/New York State Police

Thomas rallied more state troopers and K9 units, and they all began a frantic search for the second abandoned cub. The dogs managed to locate its trail, and it wasn't long before they found it, near the road.


US Fish and Wildlife Service

The cub was wet, cold, and starving, but thankfully help had arrived just in time. But what would the center do with two black bear cubs? They couldn't bottle feed them forever.



The two bear cubs recovered quickly, thanks to Thomas and the expert care at the center. If it weren't for them, they wouldn't have survived. Thomas was ecstatic that he had managed to find the other bear and reunite it with its sibling.

The Greatest Healer

Facebook/New Hampshire State Police

The story of the two rescued bear cubs prove that love and care are the best routes on the road to recovery. The center announced that they plan to set the cubs free once they are strong enough. And there was one particular person who couldn't wait to hear anout their prognosis.

Protect And Serve

Facebook/New Hampshire State Police

Thomas Owens may have encountered many strange things in all his years of law enfocement, but this encounter was truly once-in-a-lifetime! He had never expected to rescue a bear cub that day, let alone two!

Serving All Creatures

Facebook/New Hampshire State Police

Thomas is completely dedicated to serving the community in Carroll, New Hampshire, but he has proved that he is also dedicated to protecting the all citizens on four legs. We salute you, Thomas Owens!