MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (CBS13) – A bear has brave bystanders to thank after they rescued the animal Tuesday from a dumpster near Mammoth Lakes.

US Forest Service employees think the black bear climbed inside a dumpster that may have been left open or ajar on Monday night. On Tuesday morning, some brave people lifted the lid and let the bear out.

It scampered away unharmed.

With more people visiting the Sierra Nevada and surrounding areas, black bear encounters are becoming increasingly more common. It’s estimated there are upwards of 30,000 black bears in California.

And it’s no surprise bears can be found near campgrounds scavenging for food. Sometimes referred to as a stomach with feet, a bear can consume up to 40,000 calories per day.

The town of Mammoth Lakes is known for Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain ski areas; and its many hiking and mountain biking trails.

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