In the Hong Kong film Echoes of the Rainbow, which won the Crystal Bear award in the Generation category at the Berlin Film Festival this year, the eight-year-old boy Big Ears was portrayed as always running around with a fish tank in his head.
In a recent piece of news, a six-month-old black bear cub was seen to cut a similar figure. But it was nothing hilarious at all.
"Jarhead", as the cub was affectionately dubbed", and its mother and two siblings were regular visitors to rubbish containers near Weirsdale in the Ocala National Forest in Florida. In late July this year, a local resident saw him running around with a clear plastic jar stuck in its head. The jar made it impossible for the cub to eat and drink. The concerned resident called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which then developed a plan to capture Jarhead. They knew that the cub would die if the jar was not removed. The team of rescuers set traps in different areas, hoping to catch and tranquilise the mother, which would then allow them to catch the cubs.
After ten days without success, in the last two of which there was no more sighting, the team feared the cub might have died. But when they were about to pull the traps and give up, a fresh sighting was reported. So they rushed back, shot the mother with a tranquiliser dart and then subdued the cubs. The family was later released in a less populated area nearby.
While the story ended happily, it raised concerns about issues related to wild animals scavenging in human neighbourhood.