He escaped unscathed
Black bears are normally peaceful creatures in their natural habitat. But when they feel threatened, a normally placid bear can quickly become very dangerous. So when a bear appeared in a residential area in Alligator Point, on Florida’s Gulf coast, neighbors contacted the authorities.
When bears come near humans, the only alternative is to tranquilize them and return them to an area away from human development.
Just that was the plan with this particular bear. Wildlife control officials shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart. But unfortunately, the sedatives didn’t take effect quickly enough.
The bear fled and ran towards the water. If tranquilizer started to take effect while the bear was in the water, there was a significant risk that he would drown.
As the bear started to swim away from the shore, Adam Warwick, a biologist from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, quickly took action and dove in after him.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I jumped in,” Adam said. “It was a spur of the moment decision. I had a lot of adrenaline pumping when I saw the bear in the water. I wanted to keep him from swimming into deeper water.”
Obviously highly experienced in dealing with wild animals, Adam was the right man to undertake such a rescue, but all the same it was definitely a life-risking mission! There was no way of knowing how much remaining energy and strength the bear might have, and that could prove extremely dangerous should it feel threatened by Adam.
Luckily for Adam, however, the bear’s strength was very much waning. It wasn’t so lucky for the bear perhaps, because staying afloat was becoming more difficult. Adam had clearly made the right decision. By the time he reached it, the bear couldn’t move his legs anymore. Without intervention, the bear would have certainly drowned.
Still over 50 feet away from the shore, other officers tried their best to assist from boats.
But at 375 pounds, the bear was too heavy to lift.
So Adam did the unimaginable. He swam on his back to the shore, dragging the bear with him.
After what seemed like an eternity, he safely brought the drowsy animal to land.
The dazed bear could then be transported back into the wilderness.