Bears only look cute in children’s playroom, bedroom shelves, or when given as gifts. After all, we’ve grown up with the idea of Winnie The Pooh or Baloo in Mowgli! But would you think of a real bear as dearly? In reality, they are huge terrifying creatures who do not think of us more than a meal. In fact, they have an astonishing accurate sense of smell which can provoke them to exhibit their extreme wild behavior especially when they are hungry. They are also one of the smartest creatures who can strategize about how to source food. Hence, if they locate an area where he can easily find food, they would seldom abandon it.
That is what happened with a 400-pound black bear who set out to follow a trail of smell that led him from his habitat in Osceola National Forest to a residential unit in Alligator Point, Florida. He was found by locals scurrying through a garbage bag. They immediately reported to the forest authorities who wanted to capture the bear and set him free in the forest. However, the following events that unfolded were beyond one’s imagination.
They planned to sedate the animal. However, a 400-pound large black creature with life-taking claws would of course not oblige to authorities’ pure intentions. Sedation would be the safest way to take this bear back home, only if he would cooperate. After being hit by the tranquillizer, much to everyone’s horror, the bear started to panic, and cry wild. It was clearly hurt. But the drug could not get a complete hold of his senses. Hence, he felt the pain but couldn’t become unconscious.
He ran hurriedly towards the ocean, and before anyone could react, he jumped. While bears are generally good swimmers, but with the drug in the body that would start to affect right when the bear is in the middle of a deep waterbody could be fatal. Naturally, the bear began to feel drowsy and couldn’t keep up with swimming, making him drown.
Nobody had anticipated such a situation, hence there was no rescue plan in place. Much to bear’s good fortune, Adam Warwick, a marine biologist was around the scene. When he saw the bear drowning, without flinching at the danger to his life or even batting an eye, he jumped into the ocean. He swam all the way up to the bear, grabbed him by his neck, and began to drag him towards the shore.
The bear was losing a sense of his legs, hence struggled to stay afloat. This only aggravated the situation for Adam, who was anyway bogged down with the weight of the bear. Adam did not lose his calm, and continued swimming; all the while holding the face of the bear above water surface for his easy breathing. He swam across 25 yards with a 400-pound bear drowsy bear to save its life!
By the time they reached ashore, the bear was alive, and just unconscious because of the drug, which eased the work of forest authorities.
Imagine, they had to call a tractor to move the sedated bear as they all together couldn’t manually budge him.
Adam Warwick made sure that the bear is safely transported back to his forest. Had the bear been anything like our fairy tales, he would have given a tight hug to Adam for selflessly saving his life, even if it meant endangering his own.
Good news is that the bear is healthy and hearty in his home, and looks happier than ever. We hope, like Adam, everyone would realize the value of life irrespective of whose it is and has the courage to put it before theirs in times of need.
This is not just a rescue story, but a reminder to all of us that forests are getting short at an alarming speed to pave way for urbanization. Hence, the incidents of wildlife being spotted in residential areas are increasing by the day; because they do not know any better. We’ve ruthlessly interfered in their lives, and with that endangered our own existence. Would there be an Adam Warwick to save a drowning humanity? We don’t think so!