The Incredible Story Of A Mama Bear Forced To Leave Her Cubs To Drown

Deep in the heart of the mountains of Europe, a mother bear struggled to cross a freezing cold lake with her young bear cubs in tow. This was a difficult task, and she had to try and swim whilst carrying her babies with her. What she did next, defies all of our beliefs about parental instinct. This is quite the tale.

Love Has No Bounds

There lies no stronger bond than the love between a mother and her children. Yet, this story of one mother bear and her cubs will surprise you. Love knows no bounds, and in times of desperation and needs, a mother will do anything she can to sacrifice herself for her loved ones.

Lake Vygozero

In the Northeastern tip of Russia the freshwater Lake Vygozero, is where we set the scene. Due to its geographical location, temperatures can drop to a whopping -20 C. Freezing temperatures like this are dangerous for humans, therefore creating challenges for fisherman on the lake as well the wild life. When the mother tries to cross this freezing lake with two cubs she had to think quickly. However, what she did not foresee was how difficult this would be for her two baby cubs.

Can’t keep up

So, she jumped into the lake with her two babies on her back, but the problem was, that she assumed the little cubs were able to grip onto her. Her cubs assumed they would be able to cling onto her also, but they sadly could not keep up. She panicked and made a quick decision that would affect the course of her cubs’ future.

Let it loose

We know mothers will do anything for their young ones, but this mother bear decided to break free from her cubs and left them in the lake as she continued to swim to the other side alone. Of course, this isn’t what we would have thought would happen, but sometimes in the wild, the weak get left behind.

Powerful current

Of course she wanted to help them, but the current proved to be stronger than her. The current was so overpowering, that it ripped the cubs away from their mother in one fail swoop. Once the cubs were far behind, she had no choice but to keep swimming to the other side it was sink or swim, fight or die, she hoped that her cubs would follow, and together they would reach the other side.

I need a miracle

So the cubs were forced to try and swim on their own in a freezing cold lake. They had never even learnt how to swim but suddenly found themselves struggling to use their instincts when they were torn from their mother who swam on without them. The lake was unbearable and in such hard conditions, the cubs were quickly losing energy and desperately needed help. What would they do?

Hanging by a thread

The baby cubs were having an extremely difficult time. It’s hard to imagine them in that way. We can only imagine that they were terrified and paddling furiously to save their lives and catch up to their mother. Just as they were starting to give up all hope, something happened…..

Help on the way

Right now, the cubs could potentially drown, danger was all around them, and their mother was not there to protect them. When suddenly from nowhere a boat appeared. Luckily, the people on board spotted the struggling babies and they just had to act fast. At the same time, the cubs saw the boat and started frantically swimming towards it. Did they know this was going to be their saviour? The people on board the ship were in fact fishermen, and although they had come to the lake to catch some fresh fish, they quickly changed their plans on a new mission.

Struggling Cubs

The closer they approached, the more they saw just how exhausted the baby bears appeared, frantically trying to keep afloat. There was no way that the fishermen could leave them now in this state. They had no choice but to do everything they could to save these helpless creatures. What would the bears do?

Safe distance

The fishermen jumped to action, but before they set about rescuing the cubs, the realized that the mother bear was actually still around. Even though she left her cubs to fight for their lives alone, the fishermen were very worried that if she saw humans interfering, her motherly instincts would put them in danger. So the only thing they could do, was to wait for the mother bear to continue on before they would rescue the cubs.

No time to think

As the fishermen waited, they began to think about how to actually rescue the poor frightened cubs out of the freezing waters without scaring them even more. Despite the many questions they had about how they would carry out this operation, they didn’t have much time to think about it all too much as this was a desperate situation and each second that passed was getting more worrisome for the babies in that freezing water.

Film it all

One of the fishermen decided to start filming the situation so he could capture every moment of this potentially incredible rescue. Within moments, one of the bear cubs had swum close enough to the fishermen and realized that this boat could save him. The cub then amazingly placed a paw on the boat trying to get a good grip, it looked like it was trying to pull himself up into the boat, and the fishermen couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

An interesting plan

The little bear cub was trying desperately to pull himself up into the boat, but unfortunately he was too small to maneuver himself over the side, and what’s more, he was exhausted from swimming and trying to stay alive. Luckily for the little guy one of the fishermen was ready to try and help and started using any piece of fishing equipment that he could to try to rescue the cub. The bear tried to latch on but sadly wasn’t close enough to be lifted aboard the boat.

A toothy plan

In an unexpected turn of events, it was actually the cubs who acted first in a bid to save their own lives. One of the cubs started to use their sharp teeth to latch onto the side, talk about thinking outside of the box. This genius survival method seemed to be working, but what would happen next? The waters below were still freezing and they couldn’t hold on with their teeth for too long.

Still too far

The cub, despite managing to dig its teeth into the side of the ship, was unable to leverage himself onto the boat. The fishermen were going to have to find a way to help the desperate cubs out of the freezing lake and fast. The fishermen later said that they couldn’t “look the other way” and decided that it was their duty to do everything in their power in order to rescue the cubs who were in real danger of drowning to death. They simply could not leave them in this helpless state.

Trust is needed

With little time to spare, the fishermen knew that they had to win the cubs’ trust and quickly. It seemed that the cubs also knew that they had to put their fears to one side in order to survive. The fishermen knew that one wrong move could prove to be fatal for the cubs if they accidentally slipped and fell during the rescue. The fishermen and the cubs knew that they needed to trust each other to make sure this mission was successful.

Unspoken plea

At that very moment, something incredible happened. The cub, who had sunk his teeth into the side of the boat came into eye contact with one of the fishermen. It was as if they were communicating with each other and showing each other mutual trust and respect. The look in the eye of the cub was heartbreaking for the fisherman, and it was almost as if he could hear the cub pleading to be rescued. This was a pivotal moment for them all.

An even better plan

Knowing that they couldn’t leave the cubs, the fishermen agreed that they would do everything they could to rescue them from the freezing lake. It was all down to their fisherman’s net and tried to lift the cubs aboard using that as a tool.

Clocks a-ticking

At first sight, using the fishing net seemed like an ingenious idea, but this was not a foolproof method. It’s important to remember that this net is intended to catch fish, and does not necessarily withstand the weight of a bear cub, still the fishermen decided they needed to give it their best try, in order to help rescue the pair of cubs. They threw the net towards the cubs and tried to pull them in towards the boat. Time was against them and conditions were poor for the cubs.