Bear in New Mexico catches a ride on a garbage truck

In this July 18, 2016 photo provided by Evan Welsch, a bear hitches a ride on top of a garbage truck in Los Alamos National Labs in Los Alamos, N. M.

Evan Welsch via AP

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. -- A New Mexico bear hitched a ride on top of a garbage truck, traveling at least 5 miles on the vehicle before it was able to make its escape up a tree.

Santa Fe National Forest spokeswoman Julie Anne Overton says the driver was picking up a dumpster last week when he heard a squeal then realized the bear was on top of the truck. It rode atop the vehicle to a site where the Forest Service keeps a firefighting helicopter.


The bear, whose name is unknown, attracted the attentionof about 30 Forest Service and National Park workers.


Helicopter mechanic Evan Welsch, who snapped photos of the bear, said about 30 Forest Service and National Park workers had gathered around to see the spectacle when it was suggested that the driver back up near a tree to give the animal an escape route.

The bear clamored for the tree and stayed up there about an hour or two before scurrying down and running off.