The world is filled with incredible and mysterious things for all creatures. However, singular places are nothing without their signature wildlife. Modern life has allowed us to domesticate certain animals, but there's a certain kind of appreciation you get when you are able to spot an animal that lives out in the wild. It's a question whether humans should interfere with nature's cruel ways, especially when it effects it's wildlife. This mother bear and her two cubs seemed to defy the odds when they were faced with a hurdle in the tundra-like Russian climate. As they attempted to swim across a lake, they realized that it was going to be a difficult task. The mother, realizing that it had better swimming skills than her cubs, went into mother-mode, amazingly defying almost every assumption we've made about motherly instincts.
There is no closer bond than a mother and her child, this is true for almost any creature that exists on the earth. However, this story may have you second guessing this assumption. The story revolves around a mother who seemingly saves herself, even though her children are staring in the face of danger. This leaves room for an unlikely hero who had to step in in order to save the bear cubs. When this new savior enters, a new love was also born.
This story takes place in the northwestern sector of Russia. Here, there is a well-known freshwater lake called Lake Vygozero. The lake is known for it's freezing temperatures, and can sometimes reach as low as -20 Celsius, or -4 Fahrenheit. Of course, these temperatures are far too cold for humans to leisurely swim in, in fact, for any CREATURE to swim in. This lake is so large, that it is considered a danger for fisherman, and for wildlife such as bears.
In The Wild
Living out in the wild isn't easy. Many people find animals on their doorstep or hiding amongst their house just to keep safe from the blistering cold. Trying to survive in the wild, especially during these freezing months is an incredibly difficult task. The mother bear and her two cubs faced the deadly scenario of trying to make it across the lake. Unfortunately, although she was optimistic, it might not have been enough in this situation.
Hard To Keep Up
As the mother bear jumped into the lake with her two cubs, she automatically figured they would be able to keep up with her as she swam. However, as she began to swim and she herself had made it quite far, it became undeniably clear that her cubs were not able to keep up with her. While many have claimed to have witnessed mother bears sacrifice their own lives to carry their young across dangerous terrain, it seems as though this mom wouldn't be one of them. When she realized her babies couldn't keep up, she did the unthinkable. She simply let them loose and began to swim on her own.
However, before you jump to conclusions it's important to think of the factors that were involved with the mother and her cubs not being able to keep up. It seemed as though the REAL reason they were separated was due to the incredibly strong current of the lake. This current ended up tearing her apart from her cubs against her will, and once they were separated, it seemed as though all the mother could do was swim and hope that her babies would survive as well. Think back to the cubs for a moment to understand how scared they must have been. They had just been separated from their mother, and they had never learned to swim on their own. On top of that, one needs to keep in mind the freezing temperatures of the lake.
It seemed as though the cubs began to tread water as though their lives depended on it. Their form was shaky, and their heads kept diving underneath the water, proving that this was truly the first time they had done something like this. However, little did they know that the changing tide would be in their favor.
It seems as though help came at just the right time. As the cubs were on the brink of death by drowning, a boat seemed to come over the horizon. The boat had spotted the cubs, and it seemed as though they had been trying to swim to the boat. It's strange to think that the cubs had put two and two together, realizing that where there was a boat there was safety. The people on the boat had been fishermen, and they had been trying to fish until the events folded in front of their eyes. As they got closer to the cubs they realized how dire the situation was. Not only were they struggling to keep their heads above the water, they were also incredibly exhausted. Although they hadn't planned this situation, they realized they needed to do something to help.
The fishermen wanted to help to the best of their ability, but they realized that the mother bear was still incredibly close by. Although she essentially did abandon her cubs, there was no telling what impulse she would act on if they even tried to go near her babies. They decided to wait until the mother bear was a safe distance away before devising a plan.
As the fishermen waited for the mother to be at a safe distance, they began to devise a plan to save the little cubs. They began to think of the consequences of each action they were about to take. For example, what would they do if they got the cubs aboard? Would they attack out of instinct? They had so many questions, but then realized that the longer they waited, the closer the cubs were to death. They had no time for thinking.
Cubs On Film
While the fishermen began spitballing ideas, one of them realized that he should film the entire thing! As the bears swam closer to the boat, he quickly ran to get his smartphone to film the entire situation. Soon after, one of the cubs got close enough to the boat that he was trying to lift himself onto the side. As the bear tried to grab hold onto the side, he realized it was too high for him. He was also still incredibly weak from attempting to keep his head above water for so long. One of the fishermen was quick on his feet and ran to get all the fishing gear he could so that maybe he could help the bear.
Interestingly enough, the bear cubs had their own ideas in mind how to save their skin. The cubs decided to use their incredibly sharp teeth to grab onto the side of the boat. He realized that grabbing onto the boat with his teeth would allow him some stability, and it would allow him traction to getting on to the boat.
Still Too Far
Although the cub had grabbed onto the boat with his incredibly sharp teeth, they were still too far away. They needed assistance from the fishermen, but the fishermen realized how much danger they were in at this very moment. They were too far from the bears to grab hold of them, but even if they did get closer to the bears, they could slip and become a meal, or freeze to death. They knew there was one thing needed between the bears and them so they could save them safely. That was trust.
Unspoken Cry For Help
At one point during the film, the cub tears it's head towards one of the fishermen and makes direct eye contact. It's almost as though you can see him pleading for help. It was decided, the fishermen would do everything in their power to help save these cubs. They decided to use their fish net to push the cubs onto the boat.
A Seemingly Good Plan
The Fisherman's net seemed like a good idea, but there were some flaws to this seemingly good plan. This net was of course, designed for fish, and so it couldn't possibly support the weight of a full grown cub, let alone two! However, they decided to give it a shot anyways, and they began to reel the cub in. As they tried to hoist the cub onto the boat they struggled with it's weight. The cubs may be babies, but it didn't stop them from being incredibly heavy.
As helpless as the bears were in this scenario, one needed to remember they were still one of the most dangerous animals on the planet. The fishermen spoke to the bears in calming hushed voices, hoping to calm them down as they were being hoisted on the boat. Hopefully, the bears wouldn't see them as poachers or as a threat, and would see them as nice men only looking to help.
Fully grown bears can weigh. up to 1,300 pounds, and although these bears weren't even close to being full grown, they were obviously a lot for the fishermen to handle. The two cubs were also soaked and so the wet fur was adding a considerable amount of weight to their already heavy mass. They feared they wouldn't be strong enough to pull them on board, but they kept pulling anyways.
One More Pull
When it seemed like they were never going to get the cub on board, they realized they were actually making some progress. The bear got closer and closer to the boat's platform. They felt incredibly excited and nervous about what was going to happen next. When they successfully got the cub onto the boat they were overjoyed! Even though there was still another cub in the water, now they had realized that it was indeed possible. They were confident they could do it again. Although the other cub was a bit further, they knew they had limited time since he had been even more tired from trying to stay afloat all this time.
Unfortunately, it looked like the second cubs situation wasn't looking too good. But, the fishermen prevailed and were confident they could save hi too. They made their way closer to him and cast out the net to get a grip of him. This time, the process went by a lot quicker since they already knew what to expect.
Now that they had both brothers on board, the big question was. What were they supposed to do now? The cubs were placed in the lifeboat that was attached to the initial fishermen boat, and when the fishermen looked at them they realized they were shaking uncontrollably. Not only were they just in freezing water, but they were now faced with creature they had probably seen before.
The fishermen were heartbroken looking at the poor cubs. They were incredibly scared for them, understanding how they probably felt in this moment. All they wanted to do at this point was help them return to their natural way of life. Since they figured that their mother wasn't that far away, they would try to reunite them.
Looking For Her
The fishermen perused the land trying to look for a good spot to drop the cubs off. They were looking in particular for the island that the mother bear had found. Although it seemed like she had abandoned them, they were sure she would want them back. After they found the place, they questioned how close she was, and whether she would attack them after seeing them with her babies.
Edge Of Their Seats
It seems as though everyone, including the cubs had slid to the edge of their seat to see where the mother bear had gone. She was nowhere to be seen, and they were beginning to question if they were ever going to find her at all. At this point, the consequences staring them in the face did not matter if it meant they would be able to get the cubs to safety.