Published Nov 28, 2008
In Unique Picks


November 28, 2008—After he fell from his habitat at the Milwaukee County Zoo and ended up in a moat on October 13, it took a crane from Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Inc. to lift the 1,500-lb. male polar bear out of his predicament. He could have climbed out of the moat on his own by using the steps back up to the exhibit, but instead he decided to ”cool it” in the moat until zoo officials finally had to call in the heavy equipment.

Bear Resists Treats; Dawes Crane on Standby

Zero had been chasing a toy and fell, but was caught by a net suspended over the 17-ft.-deep moat. He was not injured, so a zoo crew cut the net so he could be lowered to the moat floor—and the wait began for him to climb out. Two weeks later, one of Dawes’ Link-Belt 50-ton cranes lowered a ”bear transport cage” filled with Zero’s favorite food, hoping to lure him into it so the crane could lift him back to his habitat. He showed some interest, but wouldn’t enter the cage. Dawes remained on standby to come and hoist the cage out of the moat once Zero was secured inside. Never happened.

A Crane Delivers a Polar Bear

Three days later, on October 31, the crane from Dawes returned. Zoo veterinarians shot Zero with darts containing a combination of anesthesia and muscle relaxants. The head veterinarian took a closer look from the crane’s man-basket to ensure that Zero was really out cold. Then a crew of 10 zoo personnel pushed the sleeping bear onto a rigging net system that would move him into the crate. Then the crate was wrapped in a cargo net and lifted by the crane from the moat to a holding area, where Zero rested until he was able to return to his habitat.

Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental is an industry leader in crane rental and sales and provides superior service throughout the Midwest from its four Wisconsin locations. The company offers manned and bare crane rental, C.C.O. certified operators, new and used equipment sales, lift planning, aerial and forklift rental, transport and heavy hauling, and 24/7 service and that includes rescuing polar bears in trouble.

Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, Inc. is a member of the ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. family of companies. Dawes is a certified dealer of new equipment for Broderson, Elliott, Genie, Gradall, JLG, Link-Belt, Lull, National Boom Trucks, Peiner, Potain, Skyjack, Sky Trak, Snorkel, Shuttlelift, and Terex for Wisconsin. For further information, please contact Dawes’ Milwaukee headquarters at (800) 236-5335 or (414) 453-5335; the office is located at 805 S. 72nd Street, Milwaukee, WI 53214.