A few years ago, a brave man did something absolutely amazing
when a large bear wandered into the ocean.
He didn’t stand by to let it drown but, instead, saved the dangerous animal.
A male black bear had wandered into a Florida community, roaming around residential areas, presumably looking for food.
After a report was called in, it was determined that the bear would be tranquilized and moved safely back to the forest.
However, the plan didn’t go as anticipated.
After being shot with a tranquilizer, the bear panicked and ran towards the ocean to evade the officers. He started swimming out into the Gulf of Mexico in an attempt to escape his pursuers, but the further he went the drowsier he became.
Adam Warwick, a biologist with the Wildlife Commission, knew he had to act fast. Without much of a second thought, he dived into the ocean, swam ahead of the bear, and blocked his path to open water.
He knew he had to do something to save the 375 pound, 6 ½ foot tall animal, explaining, “It was a spur of the moment decision. I had a lot of adrenaline pumping when I saw the bear in the water.”
Onlookers were shocked as Adam dived in after the bear. The nearly 400 lb animal could have torn him from limb to limb normally. But Adam didn’t find the biggest threat to be the weary, tranquilized bear.
Instead, he stated, “I was kinda worried about walking across the mud floor and… getting stung by the sting rays actually, more so than the bear.” He also added, “I just wanted to try to get in front of him to keep him from swimming out there and drowning.”
At one point, the bear tried to climb on top of Adam to stay afloat, but the animal was losing his ability to move his legs. The biologist stayed calm though, grabbed the bear around the neck, and dragged him 25 yards towards the shore. He said about the experience:
“The bear came and waded in the water, and then he started to swim, trying to start to make the 4 mile swim across the harbor. And so I looked at Ron, and I said, ‘Ron I gotta go out here and stop him’.
So I took off the shirt and shoes, jumped in the water, and swam in a direction so as to head him and keep him from going into deeper water. Once I did that, I got in front of him, tried to create some splashing and some commotion, and tried to get him to go back into shore, but he wasn’t having any of that.”
After a good deal of effort, Adam finally got solid land under the groggy bear’s paws. Eventually, others also waded out to help the man and the beast, now only a few yards away from the shore. The group used a tractor bucket to take the bear back to its home in Osceola National Forest.
Despite the dangers of what Adam did, he didn’t seem too shaken up by the experience, stating, “I got a few cuts on my feet from the claws and the barnacles, but, other than that, I’m doing good”.
However, that’s not to say that saving the Bear was easy. He explained, “The scariest part was probably when he started looking at me as if he wanted to climb up on me in order to keep from drowning.
At one point he reared up on his hind legs,” also adding, “And so I’m looking there at a 6 ½ foot tall bear, and, instead of lunging forward, he fell straight back and submerged for a couple seconds.”
What Adam did was truly amazing and not something many others would do. And he’ll certainly have a memorable story for years to come.