Video: Fishermen Rescue Bear Cubs from Drowning

A pair of Russian fishermen rescued two brown bear cubs from drowning after they were separated from their mother. The mama bear became separated from the cubs while swimming across Lake Vygozero in northwest Russia. But the fishermen showed a willingness to help the wild animals survive.

As you can see in the video, one of the bear cubs is clawing to get into the boat. After struggling to pull himself into the small fishing vessel for a few moments, one of the fisherman brings over a net to help keep the bear afloat.

“They had swum (across the lake) with their mother. But she overestimated her strength and swam away. The cubs began to sink,” explains one of the fishermen, Ruslan Lukanin. “We picked them up and dragged them to the island to which their mother had swum. It was dangerous, of course. But they are living creatures. We couldn’t just look the other way.”

In the video, the two men talk about the risk of inviting a wild animal into their boat, knowing that even a bear cub has the strength and claws to cause them harm. However, they could see that the bears were exhausted from the swim and just fighting for for life, and so they believed the cubs were not a threat.

Using their nets, the fishermen were able to get the two bear cubs to the island where the mama bear had swum to.  Even when they reached the shore, the cubs were too weak to walk. The men then brought the cubs into a wooded area with the hope that their mother would find them and resume care of them.

Whether the mama bear had a reunion with her cubs is unclear. But the two fishermen showed great respect for nature and at least gave the bear cubs a fighting chance.

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