Fishermen See Abandoned Baby Bears And Do The Unthinkable

If you’re a fan of animal documentaries like I am, then I’m sure you’ve seen some pretty amazing footage of animals risking their lives to protect their offspring. But even though most species give it all to protect their young, this is not always the case. This is a tragic story about a bear who was left with no choice but to leave her cubs to drown in an ice-cold lake. Luckily, a group of local fishermen came across these desperate cubs and were left baffled. But what did the fishermen do? Did they save them? Read on and find out!

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

#21. A Difficult Task

It was a cold winter day in Siberia and a family of bears was faced with the difficult task of crossing Lake Vygozero in search of food. However, there was a problem: the mother hadn’t taught her cubs to swim yet, so how would they all make it across the lake to the opposite shore?

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But in spite of this, the mother bear seemed confident and she tried swimming across the freezing lake while her cubs clung on to her. However, little did she know that this plan wouldn’t work out and that some of the cubs wouldn’t make it. But what went wrong?

#20. Strong Current

The problem was that the bear underestimated the strength of the lake’s current. While she was halfway across the lake, she realized it was nearly impossible to hold onto all her cubs because the current was way too strong.

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The mamma bear did everything she could, but in spite of her efforts, two of her cubs were swept by the current, separating the family in two. But no matter how tragic this was, the bear knew it was too late to swim back and save them. If she did that, she and all the rest of her cubs would die too. She had no choice but to keep swimming and reach the opposite shore.

#19. Survival Instincts

Logically, the poor cubs were terrified, as they lost sight of their mom in a matter of seconds. Besides, they had never learned how to swim, so their survival instincts kicked in as they flailed about in the water.

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Even though they managed to remain afloat, they quickly started running out of energy. Besides, they weren’t used to such freezing temperatures, so their bodies wouldn’t stand the cold much longer. How would they survive?

#18. The Miracle Boat

Right when the cubs were about to drown to death, a miracle happened. The cubs heard a strange noise at a distance, and can you guess what it was? A fishing boat! This was their only chance for survival, but would the people on the boat save them on time?

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The crew on the boat first spotted the mother bear as she swam away, but just a few seconds later, they saw the drowning cubs screaming out of desperation. As if out of instinct, the bears started swimming towards the boat’s direction. Can you guess what happened next?

#17. What Should They Do?

At first, the fishermen were hesitant. To begin with, they had a job to do and they had barely caught any fish all day. But second and most importantly, what if the little bears attacked them? What if those furry animals bit off their hands while trying to rescue them from the water?

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In spite of this, the fishermen realized they were the cubs’ only chance for survival. They made up their minds and speeded the boat towards the drowning scene. However, there was still one obstacle they had to sort out.

#16. A Major Problem

Even though the fishermen wanted to step up and save the day, they soon realized they were overlooking the most important problem of all. Even though the mamma bear had left her cubs behind, she was still in the water several meters away.

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In other words, she was close enough to change her mind, turn around and go after her cubs, and if that were the case, the fishermen would be in great danger. After all, grizzly bears are incredibly strong mammals, powerful enough to tip over the boat.

#15. Parallel Plans

Therefore, the boat crew was left with no choice but to wait until the mother bear was far enough. They came up with the following plan: once the bear was over half a kilometer away, they would step up and save the cubs’ lives. But it seemed that the cubs had come up with a plan of their own!

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Of course, the cubs had no idea the fisherman were actually planning on saving them, so they followed their gut instinct and swam towards the boat. Before they knew it, the men realized the baby bears were just a few meters away from the boat!

#14. Where’s My Phone?

The fishermen were shocked. After all, they hadn’t even realized the bears had started swimming towards the boat in the first place! They weren’t quite sure how to react, but can you guess what one of the men did?

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One of the fishermen realized that rescuing a family of drowning cubs was a once-in-a-lifetime sort of situation, so the first thing he did was grab his smartphone and film the whole thing. When all the bears were close enough, he began filming. The picture above is a screenshot from his video, can you believe how cute that little thing is?

#13. Coming Up With A Plan

The cubs had reached the boat, but the side of the boat was way too high for them, so there was no way they could get on board on their own. At the same time, the fishermen were afraid of giving them a hand, because what if they got bitten? However, one of the guys came up with a smart plan.

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He went to fetch the fishing supplies to see if he could find anything that could help the cubs remain afloat. A fishing net would’ve been the most practical option, but guess what? Before the fishermen came up with a solution, the cubs began using their teeth to gnaw at the side of the boat. By this time, the guys were amazed by the bears’ shrewdness!

#12. Eye Contact

The fishermen then decided to hold the cubs’ back with a fishing net, just as shown in the picture below. However, they doubted whether the nets would hold the cubs’ weight. They needed to act fast, since the cubs were slowly running out of energy, so they wouldn’t be able to cling to the side of the boat much longer.

Photo: Courtesy of Post Fun

The men looked at these cubs in the eyes and they realized exactly how desperate they were, and that’s when their fear vanished. The truth was that the creatures were on the brink of death, so they figured that if they helped them get on the boat, they probably wouldn’t attack their saviors.

#11. Easier Said Than Done

The fishermen grabbed one of their nets and tried to put it under the first cub. Their plan seemed to be working since the net didn’t snap with the weight of this furry creature. You should’ve seen the look on the cub’s face when he realized he was finally being saved!

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

Meanwhile, the second cub was still struggling to cling to the boat. But would the net hold both of them? The fishermen decided no to risk it: it was better if they first helped the first cub onto the boat since there was no way the net would resist the weight of two bears at once!

#10. How To Calm Him Down

Those of you who are reading this story are probably wondering why these men took such a long time to help the bears onto the boat, but hey, let’s put ourselves in their shoes for a moment! We’re talking about one of the most dangerous mammals ever!

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

In this sense, the men kept asking themselves the following question: what if the bears perceived them as a threat? Even though they were cubs, they were still strong enough to defend themselves and chew their hands off! However, the fishermen were no amateurs, and they used the same old trick we always use with dogs: they talked to them in a soothing tone, hoping they would calm down and gain confidence. But did this work?

#9. Time To Lift!

The men realized that their simple trick worked, as the first cub gradually began to calm down. But now came the hard part: lifting a bear! While full-grown bears can weigh over 1,700 pounds, a newborn may way as little as 10 pounds. These fellas, however, were somewhere in between.

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The men used all the strength they had in order to lift the first cub from the fishing net to the boat. It was harder than they thought, but their effort was definitely worth it! Wait until you see the next picture, it will break your heart!

#8. Good News And Bad News

After struggling with the cub for nearly half a minute, the men gave one last push and lifted him to the boat. They were all relieved – starting with the bear! – but they knew there was no time to celebrate. They still had to aid the second cub, who was still in the water.

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The good news was that they had proven they were strong enough to lift a middle-sized cub, so the lifting part of the plan wouldn’t be an issue. But the bad news was that the second cub wasn’t even at the boat yet! He was still floating in the water and running out of energy.

#7. Strike Two

The men realized that the first thing they had to do was to move the boat to the place where the cub was. The furry little creature was still at a 15-foot distance and it didn’t seem like he would be able to swim all the way there.

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However, this was easier said than done. Once they moved the boat close to the bear, they noticed he was too weak to be able to hang to the side of the boat for safety. They put the fishing net under him, just like they did with the previous cub, hoping it would work once again.

#6. What Now?

This cub was heavier than the first one, so the fishermen actually had a harder time during the second phase of the rescue plan. They dragged the cub to the boat with the net, and then they lifted him up to safety.

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Finally, the two furry little brothers were reunited and safe and sound. But of course, the problem didn’t end here! Sure, the fishermen felt relieved after having saved their lives, but what would they do now? How would they survive motherless? Should they go after their mother, or would that be way too dangerous?

#5. A Difficult Decision

The bears had been saved, but the whole adventure had just begun. They were tired and freezing and they just wouldn’t stop shaking! Plus, it was probably the first time they had contact with humans, so they were probably scared!

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After giving it a second thought, the men decided that searching for their mother wouldn’t be a good idea. It was nearly night time, and who knew how the mother would react!? Thus, they had no choice but to take the cubs back to the shore and leave them to fend for themselves. Sure, it was terribly difficult decision, but did they have any other chance?

#4. The Perfect Spot To Say Goodbye

But now, the men faced the following dilemma: what could be the perfect spot to drop them off? They tried guessing which island the mamma bear had swum to. After all, maybe they could help the family reunite!

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They looked around at all the surrounding islands and tried to recall where they had last seen the mother. They finally chose which island to drop them off at, but as they got nearer, they couldn’t stop wondering: what if the mother was really there? Would they be safe if the mother saw them?

#3. One Last Grand Gesture

The fishermen reached the shore and waited for a few minutes, just in case the mother showed up. But after an hour of patiently waiting, they realized it was the time to let go. But guess what? It turned out that the bears were the ones who weren’t ready to say goodbye!

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It seemed to be that after such a thrilling and life-risking adventure, the cubs and the fishermen had grown fond of each other! So much so, that the furry beasts didn’t want to get off the boat. However, the men were fully aware that the mamma bear could show up any moment, so they did one last heroic act to convince these two fellas to go back to the wild. Can you guess what they did?

#2. They Did All They Could

The fishermen knew that the time was ticking, so they picked up the bears themselves, carried them off the boat and walked them to the island. Fending for themselves would be tough for these bears, but hey, at least they were alive!

Photo: Courtesy of Post Fun

The men had a hard time saying goodbye, but they were fully aware they belonged to two completely different worlds. The truth was they were proud they had found the courage to save them, and the bond that formed between them during those last minutes was something they would never forget.


Unfortunately, the fishermen never saw the cubs again. They don’t know if they reunited with their mother, or even if they survived on their own. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll go back to the island where they dropped them, and send us updates on how their friends are doing!

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One way or another, these two cubs probably struggled to survive. According to scientists, six out of eight bears are considered endangered… but with these two furry pals alive, it’s safe to say there is still hope for these animals’ future!

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    Hernán Tamargo

    Teacher. Political Scientist. Writer. Feminist... and much more!

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