Elijah Barkley had no clue that when visiting West Virginia with his friends and family, he would end up rescuing a young bear.
As Barkley was making his way back to camp from the river, a ranger and a bear keeper stopped him. They asked him to help them find a solitary bear.
This little bear looks to have been an orphan who struggled mightily to live on his own.
Barkley quickly located the bear after starting down the path.
The Dodo quoted Barkley as saying:
He didn’t try to move when we came closer to him, so it was clear that either he was very exhausted or that something wasn’t right. He did not leave.
The child appeared to be going to pass out, so Barkley alerted the ranger and bear keeper right away.
The small bear was spared largely with the intention of bringing him to the facility to be saved by Joel Rosenthal, a bear keeper who also oversees Point of View Farm, Inc., a wildlife rehabilitation center.
The bear was going to drown because he was too exhausted to raise his head above the water, but Barkley stopped him.
As soon as Barkley saw the bear’s situation, he acted. He saw the animal’s head fall into the water, then he grabbed the bear by the back of the neck and hauled it toward the shore.
All I could think about was getting to the bear as fast as I could; I didn’t take the dangers into account.
Barkley waded across the slippery pebbles on the riverbank and plunged into the freezing water to reach the cub before it was too late.
I took it immediately away to Rosenthal to have it examined.
The bear was given a tranquilizer before being placed in Rosenthal’s truck and wrapped in towels.