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Bear Aware: Water Rescue and Biker Attack

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The summer is shaping up to be a big season for bruins— this month alone we’ve seen them drop by McDonald’s, mess with wolves on video, bowl over a jogger, and stonewall a biker. Let’s face it, bears are a hiker’s favorite apex predator, so we’ll track all of Smokey and the gang’s wildest shenanigans until they bed down in their holes for hibernation. Without further adieu:

— In bear-human encounters, humans usually need the rescuing, but the tables were turned after Florida Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials shot a black bear with a tranquilizer dart. The black bear, which had been browsing the Florida panhandle beachfront too close to humans, swam out into the Gulf of Mexico, but began to struggle under the effects of the drug. FWC biologist and ultra-hardman Adam Warwick won himself a lifetime of bragging rights and free shots when he dove in and swam out to rescue the 375-lb. bear. He successfully dragged it to shore, cutting his feet on concrete and barnacles along the way, where a waiting backhoe from a bystander helped load the bear into an FWC truck. The bear will be relocated to Osceola National Forest. “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.” (MyFWC.com)

— A teenage girl competing in an all-night mountain bike race in Anchorage, AK, was attacked in the middle of the race by a bear, sustaining "extensive," life-threatening injuries. A fellow competitor found the injured girl, who could only murmur the words "bear;" police with shotguns escorted medics through the woods, who extracted the girl over a half-mile of trail to a waiting ambulance. She underwent surgery and is expected to survive, but an EMS supervisor working on the rescue reportedly said "in his 24 years of doing this, these were the most extensively traumatic injuries he’d seen."  (Anchorage Daily News)

They may look soft, but they’ve got lot’s of claws and teeth, too. Nobody needs a bear encounter — make sure to learn from our mistakes in our exclusive "How To Hang A Bear Bag" video tutorial.

Ted Alvarez

Image Credit: Becky Bickerstaff, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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