There is a reason why the term Mama Bear is used when it comes to protective mothers, and it’s because bears are the most territorial mothers around. They rarely let their babies out of their site and when they get into mischief, they quickly solve the problem. Needless to say, you never want to come in between a mother bear and her babies.
In this case, boaters had no choice when they witnessed cubs in serious danger.
A Dangerous Crossing
Crossing a lake can be dangerous for any creature, especially baby bears who haven’t quite figured out the whole swimming thing. The crossing was necessary for this family, as reaching the other side ensured more food to help them grow. However, it seemed as if the mother has over estimated the babies ability to make it this far.
The incident occurred on Lake Vygozero in Russia when the mother bear and her cubs were exploring as usual. Everything seemed to be normal, until the mother encouraged her babies to cross the lake, not realizing they weren’t strong enough. Normally, bears are great swimmers, but these cubs just weren’t ready for a swim of this magnitude. In an instant, the situation worsened.
Frantically working to save her cubs, the mama bear realized her options were limited. Growing colder and weaker by the moment, she eventually had to make a horrible decision that would only happen in the wild.
With her strength escaping her, she had to abandon her struggling cubs to save herself.
The cubs were barely holding on, struggling to keep their heads above water. Time was not on their side, but luckily, there were fisherman near by that saw them struggling. Baby bears are still dangerous, especially when they are afraid, but these fishermen didn’t even think twice about it. They quickly headed over to them to try and save the day.
Gasping For Air
Freezing and distraught, it was clear the babies were in serious danger. As soon as the boat approached them, they began grasping the sides trying to climb on. The fisherman used their nets to help the cubs jump onto the boat in hopes to save their lives.
A Helping Hand
The fisherman knew they could be in a potentially dangerous situation when the cubs got on board, but they didn’t hesitate to help them. It was clear the babies were in desperate need and they were grateful for the help they were receiving. But they weren’t sure what was about to happen.
No Easy Task
It was no easy task trying to save the cubs, as they were pretty heavy. They didn’t want the cubs to capsize the boat because then all of them would be frantically trying to escape the freezing water. The cubs started gnawing and clawing the sides of the boat, trying everything to find refuge.
A Serious Situation
It wasn’t easy trying to get the cubs onboard, especially since they were terrified. The first cub was on the side of the boat almost asking for help. The second cub looked to be out of energy and was fading quickly.
The second cub was at the back of the boat and was clearly exhausted. Without putting up a fight, the fisherman were able to put the net underneath him, giving him a chance to rest. Now that this one was secure, they were able to focus their efforts on the struggling brother.
Try, Try, Try Again
All their attempts to get the netting underneath the bear didn’t seem to be working, and it was only tiring the cub out more. Still, they weren’t going to give up and neither was the bear. So they tried and tried again, hoping their efforts wouldn’t be in vane.
Caution To The Wind
Finally, they got the bear onto the boat after many attempts at lifting him up with the net. They were cautious with the animal but it was clear he wasn’t posing any threat. Now, they had to work hard to ensure these cubs had a chance at recovery.
Heading To Safe Ground
Towing one cub by net in the back, they headed for the nearest shore. There was an island on the other side, which was in the direction of where they were swimming. They were hoping the mother would be there waiting, so they headed that way.
Headed to the island, they were keeping an eye out for mom just in case she was ready to attack, unaware of their peaceful efforts. However, she was nowhere in sight. This was slightly alarming, because it was clear these cubs were too young to be on their own.
Usually, cubs stay with their mothers for nearly two and a half years and it was apparent that these cubs were much younger than that. They tried to think of why this would even happen, why the mother would have led her babies into a situation they couldn’t handle, and only one thing made sense.
The Search For Food
The family must have been desperate for a new food source, risking their lives to try and find it. Changing climates drastically effect what food sources are available for all animals and these bears must have been in desperate need. The mother could have also been young herself, and inexperienced which led to this disaster.
Either way, they were glad they were able to help. But the adventure wasn’t over.
As they approached the shoreline they kept an eye out for the mother. They helped the cubs onto shore hoping the mother would hear their calls. Although they didn’t see her right away, they were all relieved that the cubs were now able to take a much needed rest.
Into The Woods They Go
They couldn’t just leave them on the shore, either. The cubs were too weak to hide themselves from potential predators so the fisherman helped escort them into the woods where they would be safe. The touching experience is something both men will remember forever, and so will the bears.
Hope For The Future
Although we’re unsure what happened to the cubs after the fisherman left, they did all they could to give them a fighting chance. There are nearly 500 islands in the area, but they’re hoping their mother’s instincts will help her locate her cubs in time for them to live a long and happy life.