Daring roadside rescue of three bear cubs trapped in a dumpster (using only a ladder and a pick-up truck)
Husband and wife risked their own safety by lowering a ladder into the bin so the cubs could be reunited with their mother
Three curious bear cubs got more than they bargained for when they clambered into a roadside dumpster.
The young creatures - the offspring of a notorious black bear in Ruidoso, New Mexico - got trapped after learning how to open the bin's latch.
But help was on the way when a couple performed a daring road rescue by carefully lowering a ladder into the dumpster, enabling the trapped animals to escape.
Shirley Schenk, one of those involved in the bear rescue, told ABC News: 'They know how to open the latch to the dumpster. This mother is notorious in the neighbourhood.'
It is unclear precisely how long the bear cubs had been in the bin, but Shirley and her husband Tom said they heard the animals crying through the night outside their home.
At first light, the couple came to their aid armed with a ladder and a pick-up truck.
Tom slowly reversed toward the bin while Shirley perched in the back with a ladder. The mother was at first seen backing away from the truck and Shirley used this opportunity to drop the ladder in.
The Good Samaritan rescuers swiftly back away from the scene as the mother bear approaches
However, as the pick-up truck made a hasty retreat, the adult bear returned to the scene.
Soon after, the heads of three bear cubs pop up over the edge of the dumpster and the creatures then climb out, back to the security of their mother.
Shirley added: 'I was not scared. I had my husband driving and I knew we’d drop it and go. I would have never done that on foot.'
Reunited: All three cubs make it out of the dumpster and re-join their mother on the road
Far from being a one-off, the couple say they have performed this kind of rescue on two other occasions and purposely keep a ladder by their garage door in case they are needed.
Shirley added that the black bears are seen about twice a week and are rarely aggressive. (Source)
VIDEO Ruidoso bear cub rescue captured on video