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Pennsylvania fisherman saves baby bear from drowning

By Ben Hooper
Pennsylvania fisherman saves baby bear from drowning
A Pennsylvania fisherman rescued a bear cub he found struggling to keep its snout above water in a lake. Screenshot: CBS Philly/YouTube

May 24 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania fisherman shared photos of perhaps his most unusual catch: a baby bear he found struggling to keep its head above water.

Brad Meck said he was fishing near the James Creek boat launch at Raystown Lake in Bedford County when he noticed a block object bobbing up and down and floating toward his boat.

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"When I first saw it I thought it was a log at first," Meck told WTAJ-TV. "Then I saw it coming towards me, I thought it was maybe just a beaver or something like that. Then it got closer and I looked at it and thought, 'Holy crap it's a baby bear!'"

Meck said the cub was struggling to keep its snout above water. He said he plucked the baby out of the water and placed it next to him in the boat.

"Just as I was ready to grab it, I thought to myself, 'Please don't bite me.' But it was as calm as can be and didn't show any hostility towards me," he said.

He said the bear coughed out some water once it was safely in the boat and sat next to him as he rowed toward shore.

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"I had seen the direction it was swimming in, I kind of figured maybe if the mom swam across first, and because the baby was so little it was struggling. I just figured she'd be up on the bank somewhere so that's where I dropped it off and figured hopefully they'd get reunited again," Meck said.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission cautioned the public not to interact with wild animals, and to instead contact wildlife officials when an animal appears to be in distress.

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