Mama Bear Forced To Save Herself, Fishermen Spring into Action To Rescue Drowning Cubs


Imagine, if you will, that you’re enjoying a day of fishing in the isolated Russian wilderness.

It’s just you, your fishing buddy, and hopefully, an inspiring catch or two waiting under the crystal clear water.

Of course, you’re not really alone — wildlife is abounding in the nearby shores and not-so-distant forests.

And before you know it, you’ve come face to face with wildlife in need of help. You have to make a choice: risk helping a wild animal in trouble, or looking away as nature takes its course.

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It was Oct. 2017 when video footage of two men rescuing a pair of drowning bear cubs first surfaced online.

The captivating footage told the story of a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the two fishermen when they decided to try and save the troubled bears.

Ruslan Lukanin, from Moscow, explained that two baby bears followed their mother bear into the water to cross the lake.

“They had swum (across the lake) with their mother,” Lukanin said. “But she overestimated her strength and swam away.”

The exhausted, waterlogged cubs couldn’t keep up with mama bear. They couldn’t make it back to shore, and soon found themselves at the mercy of the two fishermen.

“The cubs began to sink,” Lukanin said. “We picked them up and dragged them to the island to which their mother had swum.”

Heaving two soaking wet bear cubs out of the water was no small task. The two men used a fishing net to help hoist the heavy little guys into their boat.

Would you have been brave enough to rescue the bears?

They spoke compassionately to the cubs, encouraging them to rest. Quickly, the men headed toward the island where they’d seen the mother bear exit the water.

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The cubs were too fatigued to walk, Lukanin recalled, and needed help getting out of the boat. The men managed to lift each bear cub onto shore and drop them at the forest’s edge.

Their hope, of course, was that the cubs would soon be reunited with their mother.

Lukanin understood the risks involved with rescuing a wild animal, but said it was the right thing to do.

“It was dangerous, of course. But they are living creatures,” Lukanin said. “We couldn’t just look the other way.”

What would you have done?

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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