In a heart-warming story that involves quite a bit of heroism, love for animals, and respect for all life, Florida biologist Adam Warwick shows us the meaning of bravery. Not only did fast-thinking Adam put his own life at risk, seemingly without hesitation, but he saved a life too… the life of a 400-pound black bear! Under different circumstances, Adam might have been lunch for the bear. But he knew that wasn’t going to be the case here, so he did what needed to be done. (1)
The bear is normally a resident of Florida’s Osceola National Forest, but one day he decided to follow his nose over to Alligator Point… a nearby residential area… the source of some delicious smells requiring investigation. Caught red-handed shuffling through someone’s trash, wildlife authorities followed their standard protocol to subdue the bear, shooting it with a tranquilizer dart. But from that point on, this was anything but a textbook operation.
Mission: Save A Drowning Black Bear
As soon as the tranquilizer began to take effect on the bear, it became visibly confused and began wandering away…straight into open water. But the effect of tranquilizer wasn’t done ramping up yet. The situation worsened when the bear made its way further out to sea and its legs began losing function.
Thankfully, Bear Whisperer Adam Warwick was there to save the day! Turning the situation from terrifying to inspiring in no time flat, he swam out to meet the bear. Hooking his arm around the bear’s gargantuan neck, he was somehow able to keep its giant head above water. This in spite of the bear seeming completely paralyzed by this point. Eyewitnesses say that with confusion taking over, the bear seemed to be struggling to climb on top of Adam as they paddled closer and closer to shore.
Tranquilizers are generally regarded as a safe way to diffuse a wild animal situation. Certainly more humane than shooting it with actual bullets, tranquilizers are not without their problems, however. Just like drugs or alcohol have different effects from person to person, so do tranquilizers affect each animal differently. Though tranquilizers seem unlikely to be fatal, as the story of this one bear shows us, any situation involving a wild animal does have the potential to take an unexpected turn.
Bear Rescue Hero
But thanks to Adam’s bravery, this story has the happiest ending possible, rich with that warm “we’re all connected” feeling. This animal’s life was in danger, and Adam could see it was not so much a threat to him, as it was to itself. So in spite of any fear he may have had, he took action. Amazingly, Adam walked away from the whole thing with just a few superficial scratches. What an incredibly brave and selfless act, risking life and limb for another in the animal kingdom!
If bears have heroes and call upon their fond memories as we do, and if they dream when they sleep, Adam will forever hold a place in the heart of one big old Floridian black bear.