Man Makes Stunning Discovery After A Baby Bear Jumps Into His Raft

 

When Danny Allen was rafting on the Nolichucky River between Tennessee and North Carolina last year, he spotted something heartbreaking: a months-old bear cub wandering aimlessly around the river bank without her mother.

Danny steered his raft closer to the poor cub to investigate. Pulling right up to the poor thing, he was only hoping to get a better look at her... That's when the baby bear did something he never saw coming!

When Danny Allen saw this baby bear all by herself on the banks of the Nolichucky River, he quickly steered his raft towards the poor animal, hoping to get a better glimpse and to see if she was okay. He was surprised, however, when she hopped right into the raft with him!
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Danny quickly brought the baby bear to USA Raft Company's Matt Moses, who had seen the lonesome creature just a few days before. Realizing her mother was no longer in the picture, they determined a plan of action for the orphaned cub.
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When Danny first found the bear, it was clear that she was starving and dehydrated. Without her mother, she had barely managed to survive. It was safe to say that she was in serious need of nourishment, or else she would perish...
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So Danny and Matt promptly called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which brought the cub to the Appalachian Bear Rescue. It was a bit of a whirlwind rescue mission, but finally she would get the help she needed.
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Appalachian Bear Rescue
Doctors gave the baby bear plenty of fluids and nicknamed her Noli after the river where she was found. Right away, she seemed to respond to her rescuers with gratitude! She was definitely a sweetheart, and she was excited to get some food and water.
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Appalachian Bear Rescue
The veterinarians gave Noli a thorough examination and started preparing for her recovery. She was going to be okay as long as they acted quickly. Poor Noli was a tad bit confused at all the poking and prodding, though!
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Appalachian Bear Rescue
Slowly, the rescuers started to get Noli acquainted with her new surroundings. She was a quick learner, and she seemed to enjoy her new home! It helped that she was finally getting lots of food and attention, and she was growing stronger every day.
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Appalachian Bear Rescue
Noli's rescuers had to make sure she would be able to climb trees, get used to her senses, and generally do things that all bears are supposed to do in order to prepare her for her big return to the wild. They wanted her to learn all of the bear necessities, so to speak!
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Appalachian Bear Rescue
Noli even took a liking to applesauce and grapes, which helped rehydrate her during her recovery. She'd gone from aimlessly wandering a river bank looking for food to having her own big bowl of sweet applesauce. What a turnaround!
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Appalachian Bear Rescue
While Noli was in much better shape from the day she was brought to the rescue center, she still needed to gain 50 pounds or more before she was able to be released into the wild. That meant she'd need a lot more applesauce and some rejuvenating naps!
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Appalachian Bear Rescue
Until then, she was just happy to be receiving so much attention... and so many grapes! Good luck, Noli! It's a good thing she followed her instincts and jumped into Danny's raft for help!
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Appalachian Bear Rescue
It's so great that Danny found Noli before it was too late. Soon, she will be big enough to go back into the wild where she belongs. That also wasn't the first time a baby bear was found in the water! On May 21, 2017, fisherman Brad Meck, from the small town of Everett, Pennsylvania, took a trip to Huntington County's Raystown Lake. Brad settled into a spot at James Creek, not expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen on his fishing expedition.
James Gabriel Pipetti / Facebook
Something strange did happen, though, but it had absolutely nothing to do with anything that Brad caught on his line. It all started when he saw some sort of movement in the lake. Initially, he thought it was just a floating log.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library / Wikimedia Commons
Raystown Lake is a heavily wooded area, so it wasn't too far-fetched to think that the object in question was anything else. When he got a closer look, though, it started to seem like the "log" was covered in... fur!
Joseph Kranek / Flickr
"I saw it coming towards me; I thought it was just a beaver or something like that," Brad said in an interview. When the object floated closer to him, though, he realized it was nothing of the sort.
Michael Gil / Flickr
"It got closer, and I looked at it and thought, 'Holy crap!'" recalled Brad. As he suspected, it was a wild animal after all! Only, it still was not one that he thought he would see so far out on the lake...
Soren Mark Petersen
Finally close enough to see the truth, Brad realized the piece of flotsam was actually a brown bear cub struggling to tread water. The poor creature was so exhausted that he was just barely able to keep his snout above the water.
Karin Jonsson / Flickr
The little cub actually seemed to be trying to swim towards Brad's boat, as if he knew that the man was his only chance at finding help. The fisherman knew that he had to do everything in his power to save the suffering creature.
ChopWood CarryWater / Flickr
Brad knew then what to do, though it was difficult to convince himself to pick up the cub with his bare hands. Even mere seconds before he actually went through with it, he was questioning himself. Would the bear try to bite him? Would his mother attack from somewhere nearby? Still, he no time to waste.
"Just as I was about ready to grab it, I thought to myself, 'Please don’t bite me,'" remembered Brad. Luckily. the grateful cub didn't seem to have any intention of harming his savior in any way.
ABC 7 Sarasota - WWSB / YouTube
"It was as calm as can be. It didn’t show any hostility towards me," said Brad. Nobody could have blamed him if he had admitted to being more than a little nervous about the incident, though!
ABC 7 Sarasota - WWSB / YouTube
Brad had to be careful about his next move, though. What on Earth was he supposed to do with a bear cub on his boat? There was no cell phone reception in the middle of the lake, so he couldn't contact an expert.
ABC 7 Sarasota - WWSB / YouTube
He did have one idea, though. "I [saw] the direction it was swimming in," said Brad. He decided that the cub had probably lost his mother and was still looking for her, so he turned his boat in that direction.
"I kind of figured maybe the mom swam across first," said Brad about his plan. "And because the baby was so little, it was struggling. I just figured she'd be up on the bank somewhere."
Once Brad made it to the opposite side of the lake, he gently placed the bear cub on land. The little creature, cold and frightened, scampered off, but not before taking one last look at Brad. It was as if he was thanking the man for his help.
Despite the fact that Brad's heroic actions undoubtedly saved the cub's life, the Pennsylvania Game Commission strongly advises against anyone doing a similar thing. Touching wild animals can be extremely dangerous, and they advise against it.
Steve Hillebrand / Flickr
It should be noted that, despite how gentle the cub was, Brad put himself in an incredibly dangerous position. If the cub's mother had seen Brad with her baby, the man could have been in serious trouble. Brown bears are known to viciously attack humans when they feel as if their cubs are threatened.
PatrickMoody / Flickr
Authorities are also concerned about bear urbanization. Brown bears generally prefer to stay in their natural habitats in the wild. If they become too comfortable in human-dominated environments, however, that could change.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission made it clear that anyone who found themselves in a similar position as Brad should call them for assistance. Of course, Brad had no way of doing that without cell phone reception, so he had to make a gut decision.
"[The cub] was going to drown if I didn’t help it," he said. "I never thought anything else other than get it and help it and take it to shore." He also hoped that the bear cub found his mom. "Hopefully, they can get reunited again," he added.
You're definitely not going to want to miss Brad's account of the experience in his own words. Whether it was safe for him to pluck the waterlogged cub didn't matter; he certainly made a difference! It would have been awful if that cub hadn't made it...

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