Bear cub rescued from tree in Windham

Above: Video footage of Tuesday's bear rescue, shot by DEC Conservation Officer Anthony Glorioso's body camera.

Officer Anthony Glorioso of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has pulled off another daring Catskills bear cub rescue — and this time, he caught it on tape.

On Monday, August 3, a large black bear cub got stuck in the crotch of a branch high in a maple tree in the Windham Mountain Village townhouse development, according to Bruce McNab, the development’s property manager.

“It must have slipped up at the top of a maple tree, and when it fell it went into a split in the tree and it was just stuck there,” McNab said.

The cub was about 65 feet up in the tree, according to a statement the DEC posted on its Facebook page

Above: DEC Conservation Officer Anthony Glorioso rescued a black bear cub on Tuesday, Aug. 4 in Windham. Photo by Bruce McNab.

The townhouse development sits at the base of Windham Mountain in the Greene County town of Windham, which is about to host hordes of visitors during this weekend’s Windham Mountain Bike UCI World Cup Festival

The cub, which weighed about 50 to 60 pounds, screamed for its mother throughout Monday night, McNab said.

“Some homeowners heard it yesterday,” McNab said. “When they came outside to see what was making the racket, they saw the mother bear standing at the bottom of the tree.”

That’s when they contacted McNab, who called Officer Glorioso.

Glorioso is an experienced bear wrangler; in June, after a four-hour stakeout, he freed a bear cub from a jar that was stuck on its head in the Greene County hamlet of Palenville

Around 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Glorioso and McNab borrowed a 125-foot aerial work platform from a nearby construction site, parked it near the tree and raised Glorioso in its basket to a height level with the cub.

Glorioso was wearing a video camera, and the DEC has released an edited video of what happened next.

Wearing thick gloves, Glorioso reached out to the cub, then grabbed it and attempted to lift it out of the tree crotch. When that didn’t work, the team used a chainsaw to cut one of the limbs away while Glorioso held the cub still.

It wasn’t easy, McNab said.

“The bear was about 50 go 60 pounds,” McNab said. “They’re so strong.”

Once the bear was free, Glorioso held it in the basket of the lift as it descended to earth.

“He’s got plenty of strength,” Glorioso said on the tape. “I’m just going to release him as soon as we get down.”

When the platform reached the ground, Glorioso loosened his grip. Immediately, the cub sprang away, apparently fine after its ordeal.

Above: Rescuers used an aerial work platform to reach a bear cub stuck in a tree in Windham on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Photo by Bruce McNab. 

But that wasn’t the last the rescuers saw of the cub that day.

McNab returned to site of the incident in the afternoon.

“Who comes trotting down the parking lot? The cub,” he said.

The cub was probably waiting near the scene of its adventure for its mother, McNab said. He expected her to return once night fell.