There are days when all of us need help and if we’re lucky, someone’s there to step in. Sometimes that’s true for animals too. Like this poor black bear who really wound up in trouble after snuffling around under someone’s house.
So wildlife biologist Adam Warwick and his team were called out to the scene unfolding in the Florida panhandle. When they arrived, they realized trapping this big fellow wasn’t an option, FT Magazine reports. He was wearing an ear tag, meaning he wouldn’t be so easily tricked into being trapped the second time around.
Tranquilizing, Warwick (pictured above) knew to tranquilize the 375 -lb bear was the next best option.
But Things For This Black Bear Went Sideways
While the brain was busy checking out the goodies inside a trash can, Warwick’s colleague darted him with a tranquilizer gun. Then the situation became precarious, Happiest reports.
The bear panicked and wandered across a road and became frightened when cars stopped to let him pass. The next thing Warwick and his team knew the animal jumped into the bay.
The poor animal way now swimming away but the tranquilizer was taking effect. He was falling asleep as he swam and was now in serious trouble.
The rescue team knew they must act quickly. This bay is four miles wide, and Warwick knew the black bear would try to go the distance. Now the creature’s head was dipping and swaying in the water. So Warwick took off his shirt, diving straightaway to the struggling bear.
Warwick wasn’t about to let the panicked creature drown
Onlookers were amazed as Warwick risked his life to save the black bear. The bear, drifting in and out of consciousness was still perfectly capable of mauling him.
“At 40 yards from shore, we met. He was dog paddling, and his pupils were dilated — the drugs were kicking in,” Warwick told FT Magazine. “The water was up to my head. I got in front of him and started splashing him. He reared up on his hind legs six and a half feet tall.”
The bear, however, decided climbing on top of Warwick might be a better idea, but as he stood up, he fell backward and was submerged for a couple of seconds.
So Warwick took action
Grabbing the bear by the scruff of the neck, Warwick wrapped an arm under the bear’s head, dragging him towards the shore. Then with the help of a backhoe, the bruin was lifted to safety. Then the crew gave him refuge in the Osceola National Forest.
Soon after, Warwick’s deed became a media sensation. He appeared on The David Letterman Show, and local townsfolk nicknamed him “the bear man.” He even received marriage proposals.
He has since moved to North Carolina, becoming a stewardship manager for The Nature Conservancy. Now he’s directly involved with conserving wildlife habitat but doesn’t really get to work with bears anymore.
And he misses that.
“I like bears because they’re always doing something that surprises you,” he says. “They are super smart. Their sense of smell is seven times better than a bloodhound’s. Underneath their fur, they are like bodybuilders but they’re not good predators — they’re made for eating fruits and seeds and insects.”
How amazing is it that this kind man was able to save this beautiful bear? Things went from bad to worse when the poor creature panicked and bolted for the water, but in a truly epic act of selflessness and bravery, Warwick saved him.
You can watch this story unfold in the video below.
Featured image by Protect All Wildlife via YouTube video