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.

First cub

The fishermen then tried to raise the first cub into the boat, but this was not simple by any means. The cub weighed a lot more than a net full of fish, which is what these men were used to catching in the lake so it took all of their efforts. What was also worrying, is that no one could anticipate how the little baby bears would react. There was fear among the men, that the bears would think they were being captured and try and fight. Bear cubs are unpredictable and can even be vicious, so it was important the fisherman kept calm and kept the cubs at ease as they pulled them towards the oat to safety.

Extremely heavy

Even though these were not fully-grown bears, who as adults can weigh up to a heavy 1300 pounds, they still weighed a hefty amount. They were also soaking wet, so their fur was weighed down by water, making it even harder for the fisherman to try and lift them out of the water. There was a fear that the cubs would be too heavy to be pulled from the water but the fishermen persevered.

Just one more pull

The fishermen feared they may not succeed in rescuing the cubs, and they were exhausted already but they have to find every ounce of their strength to keep going. By gosh that was difficult but they managed to get first cub closer to the deck of the boat. They were nearly there and both the cub and fishermen felt how close they were, just one more tug of the net.

Getting on board

The first bear cub was now on the boat! Even though only half the task was done, the fishermen were confident and felt the motivation to keep going to save his brother. They knew that they could use the net successfully. However, it may not be quite as simple, as this cub was swimming further away from the boat, and had been in the water longer so was going to be even more exhausted from trying to stay above water. This was still a dangerous situation for both fishermen and the second bear cub, but now the fishermen knew what to do in order to rescue him from the lake successfully.

Brothers on board

The fishermen used all their remaining energy to pull the second bear cub into their safe hands. He was also heavy, fur soaked with even more water than his brother, but they managed to lift him up with a team effort onto the deck of the boat, and they were now both safe, after that heart wrenching ordeal. The fishermen needed to decide their next steps in dealing with these frightened and almost drowned cubs.

Cold and shaking

The cubs were now safe with the fishermen on board the boat, but not only were they just subjected to extremely dangerous conditions in the water, but now they had been pulled to safety by unknown creatures, they must have been so frightened and helpless not to mention exhausted. So what would the men do now with the babies? They couldn’t just abandon them now after all of that.

Fishermen resolution

Realizing what a frightening situation the cubs were in, the fishermen wanted to do whatever they could to help them. They came to the conclusion that it would be the wisest decision to return the cubs to their natural habitat, in the woods. Their mother wouldn’t be far away and it gave them a better chance of being reunited with her.

Looking for the spot

The fishermen started to look for the best spot to reunite the family of bears. After searching, the fishermen identified the last location where they had seen the mother bear. But, how long would it take for her to come back? Also would she abandon them for being in the presence of humans.

Edge of their seats

As the fishermen approached the shore, they couldn’t see her anywhere. They moved with trepidation, in anticipation that the mother bear would either attack them, or leave her babies, and then they would not know what to do. They didn’t know what to do now.

Rendezvous point

The fishermen waited for the mother bear to appear but after time passed by there was still no sign of her and it worried them. They knew it was still the right decision to leave the cubs to try and find her, even though they didn’t want to leave their new friends, it was the correct move. The little cubs were so exhausted so the fishermen carefully picked them up and brought them onto dry land.

Final goodbye

Having safely returned the cubs to dry land, the fishermen marvelled at how their seemingly normal day turned into quite the adventure. What’s more, they even had it on film by one of the fishermen, so they were able to look back at the event. This day would definitely stay with them forever and now that they had the footage they could always look back at it and remember the good deed they did. So what about their mother?

Happily breathing

This story is extremely inspirational. The fishermen certainly risked their lives in order to rescue these babies, not knowing the outcome or if they were in danger too. It was for sure a gamble, but they went on their gut instinct, and it proved them right. They saved the lives of two little bears and they would never forget it. It shows just how humans really can make an impact.