July 2 | 3 Comments
APALACHICOLA, Fla. (CBS) – A Florida Fish and Wildlife biologist pulled off a daring rescue Saturday in the Panhandle: He rescued a bear with his bare hands.
Officials say a 375-pound male black bear was seen roaming a residential neighborhood near Alligator Point, a neighborhood of about 100 homes on a small peninsula about 40 miles south of Tallahassee.
The bear was hit with a tranquilizer dart, but he managed to bolt into the Gulf of Mexico before he was sedated.
Not being smarter than the average bear, this biologist followed him into the water.
”I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I jumped in,” said biologist Adam Warwick, who saw the bear struggling in the warm Gulf waters after it had been hit with a tranquilizer dart. “It was a spur of the moment decision,” he said. “I had a lot of adrenaline pumping when I saw the bear in the water.”
That’s funny, because last night I had a lot of adrenaline pumping when I saw a bear claw next to a glass of water. Maybe I have hero tendencies too.
“I was in the water swimming toward the bear, trying to prevent him from swimming into deeper water,” Warwick said. “He was now losing function (an effect of the drugs) in his arms and legs, and was obviously in distress.”
Warwick kept one arm underneath the bear and the other gripping the scruff of its neck to keep the bear’s head above water. Warwick said he walked barefoot over concrete blocks crusted with barnacles in the 4-foot-deep water as he tried to guide and use the water to help float the bear back to shore.
Once he got the bear to shore, a bystander with a backhoe arrived and helped load the animal into the bucket and then into a FWC truck.
How convenient that a bystander, with a backhoe, just happened to be there.