If you have ever run into a bear the wild, you realize that it is an experience that you are never going to forget. We tend to look at bears because of their sheer size and the potential that they have to do us harm. It is especially difficult to be in such a situation when there is nothing between you and the bear. You typically feel very helpless.
You can only imagine how difficult it would be to have a bear wandering around your neighborhood. Most people would simply call a wildlife group to come out, capture the bear and return him to his home again. Some people, however, do something unexpected.
This black bear was found hanging out in a Florida neighborhood near Tallahassee in 2008. The Florida Fish and wildlife conservation commission was contacted and officers were dispatched to the area. They wanted to rescue the bear before any harm occurred.
A tranquilizing dart was shot at the bear and unfortunately, he panicked and ran right into the water.
The bear began swimming for deeper waters in the Gulf of Mexico but the tranquilizer dart was taking effect. Fortunately, Adam Warwick was on the scene. He is a biologist and as he watched the bear slowly swimming away from land, he knew he had to do something.
Adam took off his shoes and shirt and jumped right into the water after the bear. Although the bear weighed 375 pounds, Adam knew that there was only one chance to save him. As he said, he just wanted to try to get in front of the bear and keep him from swimming any further.
“I got in front of him, tried to create some splashing and some commotion and tried to get him to go back to shore. But he wasn’t having any of that. The scariest part was probably when he decided – he started looking at me as if he wanted to climb up on me to keep from drowning and, at one point, he reared up on his hind legs, so I’m looking at a six-and-a-half-foot tall bear. Instead of lunging forward, he fell straight back and was submerged for a couple of seconds and, that’s kinda when I moved in.”
Adam continued to maneuver the bear back to shore again. He held him with one arm under his neck, keeping his head from dipping below the surface of the water.
Adam reached the bear when he was about 25 yards from shore. The water wasn’t deep but the bottom of the ocean was covered with barnacles and concrete. Adam jumped it in his bare feet!
Eventually, Adam was able to get the groggy bear over to the shore. Wildlife officers were able to pull the bear the rest of the way from the water.
Finally, the bear was on his way to the Osceola National Forest. We hope he will not have any more run-ins with tranquilizer darts.
Adam only had a few scratches, which is quite amazing, considering what he had been through. Most of the scratches were from the ocean floor and the bear scratched him once. In the end, Adam had saved a potentially dangerous animal and came away the victor.
If it weren’t for Adam’s quick thinking, things would have turned out very poorly for the bear. There is no doubt about it, he is a hero!
Before You Go…
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