When a huge black bear wandered into a residential area in Alligator Point, Florida, wildlife officers knew they had to trap and remove him from the neighborhood. But when they tried to sedate the bear, things started to go horribly wrong.
The safest way to remove the bear from the residential area was by tranquilizing and relocating him.
But the dart sent the bear into a panic and he ran towards the ocean, evading officers.
As he swam further and further out into the Gulf, he became drowsy and started to drown.
That's when Adam Warwick, a biologist with the Wildlife Commission, knew he had to act.
Onlookers were shocked as Adam swam in and blocked him from advancing.
"It was a spur of the moment decision. I had a lot of adrenaline pumping when I saw the bear in the water."
He forgot that the 7 foot beast could tear him apart with his claws. The bear tried lunging at Adam to climb on top of him and stay afloat, but he was losing the ability to move his legs.
The biologist had to act fast. He stayed calm and grabbed the bear by the scruff of the neck.
The bear was having trouble keeping its head above water, but Adam never gave up.
Everyone held their breath as Adam dragged the nearly-400-pound bear twenty-five yards to land.
After what seemed like an eternity, Adam made his way out of the water with the groggy bear.
He suffered only one scratch from the bear and a cut foot from the barnacles.
Once they reached the shore, other team members came to help the exhausted man and bear.
The team was able to use a tractor bucket to transport the poor guy back to his home in Osceola National Forest.
I don't think he'll be going anywhere near large bodies of water for a long, long time.
He looks much happier on land than he did in the water!
This incredible man risked his life to save a dangerous animals when no one dared to act. He's not only a legendary human being, but also a hero to one lucky bear.
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Photos by Becky Bickerstaff and Adam Warwick of The Nature Conservancy